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Emerald City Theatre

Amy and Anne were enthusiastic and able to work with people of all skill levels when it came to fundraising. They were great at communicating and finding a way that everyone can be contributing and finding a role for everyone to help the plan be successful.

Karen Cardarelli
Founder & Executive Director
Emerald City Theatre

Emerald City Theatre put on four shows across three stages during the 2017-2018 season.
Emerald City Theatre offers classes and camps year-round for children ages 0-13.


Emerald City Theatre (ECT) is one of Chicago’s most-attended nonprofit theater companies, reaching children 0 – 13-years-old through its three pillars of work: artistic, education, and outreach. Serving over 80,000 children annually, the company has created nearly 100 productions across Chicago.

ECT also builds skills in children through its yearly camps, classes, and residencies – the largest theater arts education program in Chicago, serving over 62,000 students to date and 200 schools annually. The company’s outreach initiatives make ECT programs available to any child of any household income level by providing free plays and companion books to children in under-served neighborhoods.


After just shy of two decades of relying on earned income from ticket sales, outreach, and summer camp programming, Emerald City Theatre was looking to invest in the company’s future with a more concerted effort in their fundraising and development. Prior to hiring on a Director of Development, ECT sought out counsel to help them approach this investment strategically.

Our Work

Amy Funk and Anne Smith worked together to complete a development assessment of Emerald City Theatre’s existing fundraising programs, including a wealth screening of ECT’s database, the creation of a two-year fundraising plan, and recommendations regarding development staffing and infrastructure to support a major gift program. Upon completing the assessment, TW&B provided staff and board training to help ECT successfully meet the goals outlined in the fundraising plan.

The Results

Karen Cardarelli, the Founder and Executive Director of Emerald City Theatre, stated that since working with TW&B, the organization had “easily ten times what we paid for (TW&B’s) services.” Emerald City Theatre has since been able to hire a full-time Director of Development to continue to build their major gifts program.

Photos courtesy of Emerald City Theatre.

Our Team

Amy Funk
Senior Vice President
Anne Smith
Vice President