Submitted by Howard Lee
UP Cares, a University Place 501c3 nonprofit, announced that Dance Theatre Northwest and the 4th Annual 2017 Teddy Bear Picnic were each awarded substantial donations to support their efforts in promoting the arts by producing free civic events.
The city of University Place found itself no longer able to fund recreation programs or senior services and will only produce three abbreviated yearly civic events. UP Cares stepped up to fill this vacuum by providing private sector funding to local nonprofits so they could produce these events.
Why Dance Theatre Northwest?
Dance Theatre Northwest is a dance studio, which has operated in University Place for 30 years. While they teach all forms of dance, few realize that they also produce 12 dance performances in regional schools, which are free of charge to schools and their students. Most of these schools do not have a fully funded arts program, so for most these performances were the student first exposure to the arts. These “Arts are Education” performances are produced with costumed dancers, professional portable stage lights and sound equipment, and dance floor. Dance Theatre Northwest is the most prolific producer of free arts programs in University Place and a worthy choice by UP Cares.
Why Teddy Bears Picnic?
Produced by an unpaid grass roots group of volunteers, in collaboration with Dance Theatre Northwest, Teddy Bears Picnic is a totally free (no vendors) family and elderly oriented civic event. Attendees enjoy listening to the live music of the Harrison Street Band, receive complimentary face painting, watch teddy bear and patriotic dance performances, attend Teddy Bear school, participate in “Yoga” bear child tailored yoga, and march through the Curran Apple Orchard to the music “Teddy Bear Picnic.” Participants can enjoy a wonderful afternoon of entertainment, activities offered by local businesses, and take home a complimentary teddy bear, without putting a strain on their household budgets.
As a 501c3, all donations to UP Cares are tax exempt to the extent of the Federal tax codes. You can find out more about UP Cares by going to their website: universityplacecares.org