A ’70s Style Telethon for WHBPAC

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

On Saturday, October 17, at 8 p.m. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center will present a live-streamed telethon from its acclaimed Mainstage. “Here Come the ’70s” will feature the music of rock band Square Feeet (sic) playing hits from the Eagles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Styx, and more from the “Me Decade.” “Here Come the ’70s” will be a two-hour special airing on all of the PAC’s streaming platforms, as well as onwhbpac.org, allowing audiences to support the culturally important work of the theater.

The virtual fundraising event will be a can’t-miss evening of entertainment, aimed to drive mass awareness and charitable contributions to help sustain WHBPAC as it continues to bring performing arts to the East End of Long Island. The premier Hamptons performing arts center, WHBPAC intends to continue bringing the performing arts to its audiences through exciting innovations in live-streaming technology. The event will combine an evening of heavy-hitting musical performances from rock band Square Feet while utilizing modern technologies for its interactive telethon component. Viewers will be able to call-in live to WHBPAC staff members waiting to take their donation and can expect many surprises, along with a look at the organization’s work through exclusive staff and volunteer profiles.

“This is an incredible opportunity to bring the work of the WHBPAC forward as we continue through the pandemic. We are all in this together because the performing arts are not optional,” said executive director Julienne Penza-Boone. “While surrounding states are reopening live venues, we are working hard to maintain our theater – and we can’t wait to have a night of music and fun as the cultural arts are in urgent need of funding and hope.”

Donations to Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center support its year-round community-based arts education programs, as well as its mainstage music, dance, art, comedy, and cinema from around the world. Donations can be made via telephone as part of the live-stream and on the theatre’s fundraising platform, “Here Come the ’70s Fundraiser.” Unique experiences are also up for grabs to give participants exclusive access to the theater – and staff. At various donation levels, purchasers can buy a “shoot-out” with PAC resident photophile (and director of sales) Allison Frost, a singing lesson with Arts Academy director Kristen Poulakis, rent the theater for a luxurious private movie night or family matinee, or battle it out with a group of friends for a musical game night hosted by director of production Frank Russell and marketing manager Heather Draskin.

“These unique experiences will draw the audiences into the theatre to show the ‘dream team’ who keeps the theater alive,” says Penza-Boone.

Funds raised from this event go directly to WHBPAC to provide for the theater’s impending reopening and outfitting the building with appropriate safety measures. The theater — which was looking forward to a stellar summer 2020 season — was forced to reschedule all of its live performances and pivot to virtual and live-streamed events in March. There is currently no reopening date under the New York Forward Plan, a critical blow to the performing arts industry.

“For decades, WHBPAC has been a leader in the East End arts scene. Our yearly programming has established an incredible foundation for us to continue serving our community and bringing the performing arts right to our audiences,” says Penza-Boone. “The telethon will be instrumental in raising awareness for the current state of the live events industry.”

For more than 20 years, Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center has presented critically acclaimed performances from stars such as Patti Lupone, Ben Vereen, Andy Grammer, Jason Mraz, Keb’ Mo’, David Crosby, Sutton Foster, Oz Pearlman, Three Dog Night, Stephen Marley, Postmodern Jukebox, Colbie Caillat and Gone West, and more. As part of the WHBPAC Arts Academy School Day Performances, more than 10,000 students are delighted each year by nationally renowned touring theater troupes. The Arts Academy offers year-round arts education classes for ages 0 to 99 as well as its landmark After School Musical Theatre productions, and provides a premier arts education to the widest and most diverse audiences regardless of socioeconomic status.

“Here Come the ‘70s” will stream on Facebook, Vimeo, and whbpac.org on October 17at 8 p.m.