Arts & Leisure

Holiday Jukebox raised $2,690 for food shelf

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HOPE Jeanne Montross accepts a big check from the Town Hall Theater’s Holiday Jukebox fundraiser. The event raised $2,690 for Addison County Food Shelf at HOPE. Debby Anderson created the giant check.

Holiday Jukebox raised $2,690 for Addison County Food Shelf at HOPE
Everyone faced challenges in 2020, and Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater is no exception. Closed to the public since March, the staff has had to literally think outside of the box. The happy result has been a series of online events that have exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“We resisted going online at first,” said THT artistic director Douglas Anderson,” but once we took the leap we realized that online videos can reach a very large audience — in fact, they can reach across the country, and around the world.” 
THT’s recent success has been a charity event, the Holiday Jukebox, in which local performers donated their time and talent to raise money for the Addison County Food Shelf at HOPE. “Not a single act turned us down,” Anderson said. “Everybody wanted to be part of this.” Each act created its own video to include in the 10-act show. 
After streaming online during the Christmas weekend, the event raised $2,690 for the food shelf. 
“We’re amazed and delighted,” said THT executive director Lisa Mitchell. “Every video clip was special. It really showcased the talent we have in this community. And we love the idea of artists giving back to the community.” 
Performing in the video were the Clint Bierman Family, Dayve Huckett and Molly McEachen, the Middlebury Congregational Church Choir, Ashley Betton and Josh Panda, Honey in the Hive, Nate Gusakov, the Maiden Vermont chorus, Mindy Hinsdale Bickford, François Clemmons, and The Bengsons. 
Anderson observes that even after the pandemic lifts, theaters like THT might still want to produce some online events. “When someone in New Mexico writes to tell you how much they loved Holiday Jukebox, and they encouraged all of their friends to see it, you pretty quickly realize the amazing reach of a good internet production.” 

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