Working with TW&B and Clyde (Watkins) provided much needed objectivity to our campaign…He knew The Rep so well that sometimes I forgot he wasn’t a staff member.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Goal: $10 Million
Raised: $11.3 Million
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is the largest performing arts organization in the state of Wisconsin. The Rep ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of Milwaukee by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity.
Goals for The “Created in Milwaukee” Campaign
After their strategic plan was set in place in 2015, The Rep was inspired to embark on the Created in Milwaukee Capital Campaign with a $10 million goal to support the strategic priorities.
$4.5 million to fortify the building’s foundation, create a new production of A Christmas Carol, and launch new play development and community engagement programs.
$5.5 million in endowment funds to further support these programs and the ongoing artistic excellence of The Rep.
Clyde Watkins of TW&B was hired to perform an internal audit of campaign readiness, followed immediately by an external feasibility study, focusing on funds for new play development and for new sets and costumes for “A Christmas Carol,” a beloved and very important part of the Rep’s annual programming. Additionally, Clyde remained The Rep’s campaign counsel for the duration of the Created in Milwaukee Campaign.
A number of Board members and other longtime subscribers stepped up to establish endowments, and the Rep exceeded its $10,000,000 campaign goal in just under three years. As with all performing arts organizations – and virtually all other nonprofits – successfully achieving the campaign goal while sustaining and growing the annual fund was an ongoing challenge, but this too was accomplished.
Construction on the building was completed in May of 2015, fortifying the sinking foundation. The total cost of repairs was $1.75 million.
The new version of A Christmas Carol – an entirely re-written and re-designed production – debuted at the Quadracci Powerhouse on December 2nd, 2016.
As of May of 2018, The Rep has been able to commission and produce seven new plays thanks to the funds raised for the new play development program.