This week: it’s all about the Olympia Family Theater


By Mary Beth Harrington

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you plan to be with family, friends or both on Thursday.

Growing up, my family insisted that no one be alone on this holiday, so we often had people from outside the family gathered around the table, and one of the annual discussions was to learn about the traditions. unique to each family. Sweet potatoes – marshmallows or not (not in our family, in fact my mom’s recipe was to keep adding butter and brown sugar until you get tired of adding more!) Last year , some friends brought Jell-O molds with little toy cars to them, as it was a tradition in their family (I’m not kidding).

This year, we’re joining close friends and bringing a Waldorf salad (with my mom’s secret dressing) and fettuccine Alfredo! It’s a tradition in my husband’s family, as his mother was Italian, they had a big family, and since many came from afar, had to have something for dinner Wednesday night that would work with Thanksgiving leftovers. Trust me, nothing beats grabbing your late-night portion of Thanksgiving dinner and adding some fettuccine to the mix.

This begs the question – is there anything that is traditional in your family or here in the PNW? Please use my email at the bottom of the column and I’ll post everyone’s deals next week! Who knows? We could adopt one of your traditions!

Now we return to our usual nonprofit news.

The Olympia Family Theater is growing!

The Olympia Family Theater (OFT) is expanding. The OFT recently announced the launch of the Give Lively campaign to help open the doors to a new space for all ages, next to the theatre, tentatively called the Olympia Youth Art Alliance (OYAA). The space will be available for small performances (60 seats), art exhibitions, rehearsals, classes, etc. In addition to OFT, the space will serve as a permanent home for other groups, including the String & Shadow Puppet Theater and Capital City Pride, which plans to use the space for offices, workshops and performances. According to OFT Deputy Director Kate Arvin, the space will be one of Olympia’s only affordable, all-ages, interdisciplinary venues in the city centre. “There are other spaces downtown, but they are often in bars, which is of no use to underage people or those who don’t want to be around alcohol.”

The campaign hopes to raise $10,000 in local donations. “No donation is too small and if a lot of people give a little together we can have a BIG impact,” said Arvin. “Community support will be crucial in creating this space that people of all ages can enjoy for years to come!” Plus, your donation can have a bigger impact as an OFT received an anonymous donation of $10,000, so every dollar you donate is doubled.

Campaign donations will be used to support the installation of new floors, lighting, soundproofing, etc. Anyone interested in learning more about the campaign is invited to attend a Doors open on Monday, November 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. OFT staff will be on hand to make tours and answer questions. To learn more, click here.

Founded in 2006, OFT’s mission is to be an educational theater that produces high quality artistic experiences for people of all ages. OFT’s vision is to use theater as a tool to build community resilience, celebrate diverse identities and prepare young people to be the stewards of tomorrow.

From humble beginnings, OFT has grown into a thriving non-profit arts organization engaging thousands of families in the South Sound area each year. According to their website, the OFT has produced nearly 60 major productions while also offering after-school classes and play camps for K-12 youth on topics ranging from acting to engineered theatre. through technical production. The OFT reports that he is “a proud member” of:

For more information on OFT, click here.

Tell your family to hike – with you!

Need to work on some of your Thanksgiving books? Oly Trail Runners offers the opportunity to do just that: its “Less turkey, more trot” event takes place from Saturday November 19th to Sunday November 27th. The best part is you choose your style, the length and when you do it. !

Start at Margaret McKenny Campground in Capitol Forest Trails, and from there run, jog, or walk 12 km, 24 km, or 35 km. Trails will be loosely marked with signs and turkey flags. If you’re new to this, it’s recommended that you grab a digital copy of the map (lest you end up on the 35k!). Proceeds benefit the Thurston County Food Bank, and prizes and a raffle are part of the fun, too. Register here.

Solicit your ideas

If you know of a nonprofit that’s doing something great, celebrating a success, needs amazing volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!

Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and for individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to


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