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Support & Donate

Our fourth year of existence has been a rollercoaster of success, growing pains and great pride.  Our programs are increasing, our partnerships are forming, and our community is growing. We are thankful to continue to be supported by The Springboard Foundation for the next four years. Their services continue to mentor us and help lead our organization through capacity building, board development and recruitment, and organizational development. We are also honored to be supported by The Illinois Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) this year. 

We are big dreamers over here at Downstage Arts, and if you've been with us since the beginning you know that we not only dream big, but achieve big. We believe in a future where we are all healthy, where there is equity and justice, and where performing arts education puts the student, as a whole human being, first. That's how we do everything at Downstage Arts. We won't stop building programs until we can create that future in the arts. 

This year we’ve:

  • Enrolled SEVENTEEN teens (our biggest class to date) in our flagship program, The Teen Cohort, where we mentor seniors in their college and theatre conservatory application process - all the way through decision day. 

  • Placed 100% of our graduates in one of their top five schools.

  • Held a Back-to-School event where we gave away over 100 backpacks with school supplies, food and gifts to families in our community. 

  • We’ve hired five artists to teach and lead our programs.

  • We’ve brought in seven guest artists to talk to our students about colleges.

  • We gave two hundred hours of free private voice, piano, guitar, and acting lessons to students. 

  • We've taught 5 free classes to kids in our community. 


Typically, these types of programs cost families $20,000 per year. 

Our programs are free. 

Our staff members are paid. 

And we are so excited about the futures of our organization and the arts industry.

But that future can’t exist without you.​


Providing this work for free takes the support of generous donors. We hope you will donate or pledge today so that we can keep providing this support to young artists and expand our offerings. Even if you donate just $5, we are so thankful for your support and trust.


We hope you will join our current donors, The Springboard Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, DCASE and The National Endowment for the Arts in helping us build this future.

How your help is used

  • $100 covers the cost of sheet music for our cohort class

  • $200 covers the cost of college application fees for one student

  • $250 covers the cost of  audition attire for one student

  • $300 covers the costs of one self taping prescreen audition for one student

  • $400 covers the cost of headshots for one student

  • $500 covers the cost of professional masterclasses for one student

  • $650 covers the cost of one student to receive coaching on their audition pieces

  • $1,300 covers the cost of audition accompaniment for one student

  • $1,500 covers the cost to participate in group classes for one student

  • $1,800 covers the cost of private voice lessons for one student

  • $2,500 covers the cost to receive private acting coaching for one student

  • $3,000 covers the cost of plane tickets for one student's audition travel

  • $3,500 covers the cost of lodging and food for one student's audition travel

  • $4,000 covers the cost of seeing professional shows and development opportunities for one student for one year

Donor Wall

The Springboard Foundation

Beacon Donuts

Lowell Bostrom

Norma Castrejon

Dawn LaFleur

Deborah Conway

Judy & Jerry VanSchyndel

Suzanne Delrow

Kevin James Sullivan

Kayla & Eric Forschler

Trevor Kristensen

Janine Colletti

Leann Barrette & Dan Tozzi

Ryan Berry

Nicole Danielle

Madeline Bunke

Marina Claudio

Lucy Riner

Jenny & Steve Kupitz

Jennifer Keeney

Jennifer Snyder

Holly McCormack

Julia Calcagno

Rebecca & Luke Wilson

The Kelleher Family

Betty Glass

The Betts Family

Kara Leman

Daniel Pulvino

Linda Mauro & Michael Coelho

Mia Coelho & Brian Curth

Roseanne & Pete Tozzi

Chris Tozzi

Lindsay Cummings

Desiree & Mike Habrat

Lanny & Linnea Wilson

Kayla Sivesind

Janie Killips

Dean Corrin

Kelsey Ann Wacker

Eddie Lynch

Joseph Waytula

Steven Mendivil

Molly Luther

Rachel Means

Tony & Sandra Smith

Shirley Coehlo

Teresa Leman

Richard Kilgus

Mayela Carrasco

Eric Cho

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