The Muses & Patroness Circle, a women’s fundraising and leadership group for McCallum Theatre, was founded in March 1988 by Erna Schulhofer. The original group of philanthropic ladies included such distinguished names as Leonore Annenberg, Betty Ford and Dolores Hope.
Since its inception, The Muses & Patroness Circle has raised and contributed over five million dollars in proceeds from annual dues and fundraising events to benefit the McCallum Theatre Institute.
A Board of Directors guides and directs volunteer committees that carry out the mission of the organization. The Mission Statement of the Muses & Patroness Circle reads as follows: The members of The Muses & Patroness Circle shall endeavor to provide support for the McCallum Theatre so that it can attain its highest potential in providing enrichment, entertainment and education to the community.
All monies raised from fundraising activities and dues by The Muses & Patroness Circle go directly to support McCallum Theatre Institute – the education division of McCallum Theatre.
At a time when budget cutbacks have substantially reduced arts programs from the curriculum in most schools, the Institute continues to provide children from across the Valley and the High Desert with the opportunity to attend world-class theater, dance and musical performances at the McCallum and in their schools. Approximately 40,000 students and teachers participate in McCallum Theatre institute experiences each year.
The varied programs produced by McCallum Theatre Institute include Aesthetic Education Program, Field Trip Series, Open Call Talent Competition and Choreography Festival.