By Kiara Tinch, The Apollo Theater

For 80 years and counting, Wednesday night at The Apollo Theater means one thing: Amateur Night. It is the only live theater experience in the world where the audience’s cheers or boos determine who should stay and who should go.

As a non-profit organization, one group of people that the Apollo Theater will never want to see go are our donors. On Wednesday night, an intimate group of young professionals braved the rain and learned about philanthropic giving opportunities available at the Apollo Theater. Guests were able to mingle with Apollo staff, representatives from our corporate sponsor Time Warner and each other to become better acquainted with the many facets of the theater. As the reception came to a close, it was clear that the Apollo Theater is much more than Amateur Night.

Our tradition of audience involvement has informed all areas of the theater’s outreach. Our original artistic programming has doubled in recent years by nurturing emerging talent during our monthly Music Café series while honoring the past through shows like Get on the Good Foot: A Tribute to James Brown. Our education department is constantly creating opportunities with students to explore the history of Harlem and to develop technical theater skills that present a new world of job opportunities through programs like the Oral History Project and our Saturday Workshop series.

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, it is clear that this is just the beginning. Week after week donors, students, and audience members have made one thing clear -- The Apollo Theater is not going anywhere; we are here to stay.

Time Warner is a proud supporter of The Apollo Theater Foundation. Our community investment efforts are focused on broadening access to the arts and investing in the next generation of storytellers. We lend our support to organizations that create opportunities for diverse talent, as well as provide greater audience access to the arts.