Macy’s Offering Grants for School Productions
Macy’s announces the return of “Yes, Virginia The Musical” for the 2014 holiday season. Now in its third year, the school program is part of Macy’s annual holiday “Believe” campaign, inspiring elementary and middle schools nationwide to perform the original production of “Yes, Virginia The Musical” in their local communities. To continue the tradition and support art in schools, Macy’s will provide the royalty-free script and score, and also $1,000 grants to 100 eligible schools, on a first-come basis. Now through July 31, interested schools can apply for a $1,000 grant via yesvirginiamusical.com. In addition, to help guide all schools and bring the magic to the stage, a comprehensive digital toolkit will be available at yesvirginiamusical.com, complete with an interactive script, helpful videos and production reference materials.
Since the program launched in 2012, teachers, students and families across the country have embraced the story of “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” resulting in heartwarming local productions throughout the holiday season. More than 2,500 schools and organizations have downloaded the free toolkit since the program’s inception, and grants have helped schools purchase costumes and set materials, as well as sound and lighting equipment for the performances.
“The magical performances from ‘Yes, Virginia The Musical’ have been a highlight the last two holiday seasons,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “We are inspired by the enthusiastic response from schools across the country and the creative young talent who bring the story of Virginia O’Hanlon to life. This year, we are proud to again offer the program royalty-free and with 100 grants for $1,000 each, to support another season of amazing performances.”
The original production was inspired by the true story of eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon who wrote a letter to the “New York Sun” newspaper in 1897 to inquire about the existence of Santa Claus. An editor from The Sun responded with a poignant essay that became one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time and served as the inspiration for Macy’s “Believe” campaign. Through the campaign, which supports Make-A-Wish, Macy’s collects letters to Santa at Believe stations in-store, and for each letter Macy’s receives, the retailer donates $1, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Grants will be awarded to the first 100 eligible schools that complete the application process. All schools are able to access the digital toolkit on yesvirginiamusical.com, which includes the royalty free script and score as well as other helpful production materials.
“Yes, Virginia The Musical” was adapted from the animated special “Yes, Virginia” written by Chris Plehal, created and produced by Macy’s and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. “Yes, Virginia The Musical” was written by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy Award-winning creative team behind the original song, “Yes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus).”