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Fundraising Is Storytelling

March 28 - 30, 2019

Seattle & Issaquah, WA

The 2019 Spring Conference will be held in Seattle and Issaquah, WA on March 28-30, 2019, hosted by The 5th Avenue Theatre and Village Theatre.

This year’s Conference will focus on fundraising, looking at how everyone at your theatre — from Development to Marketing to Artistic to Front-of-House — has a vital role in telling your story effectively. We’ll also discuss the latest trends in foundation and corporate giving, capital and endowment campaigns, new developments in data-driven fundraising, and more.

Our host theatres are rolling out the red carpet for us with shows and networking receptions, so don’t miss this chance to visit with your NAMT colleagues in the beautiful Seattle area!

Plus join us before the Conference for an Racial Equity Institute.

Educational Resources Committee
Dan Murphy, The Broadway Rose Theatre (OR), Chair
Michael Ballam
, Utah Festival Opera Company (UT)
Rick Boynton, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (IL)
Wayne Bryan
, Music Theatre Wichita (KS)
Mark Fleischer
, Pittsburgh CLO (PA)
Donna Lynn Hilton
, Goodspeed Musicals (CT)
Robb Hunt
, Village Theatre (WA)
Jennifer Jaquess, Red Mountain Theatre Company (AL)
Orlando Morales
, The 5th Avenue Theatre (WA)

Spring Conference Committee
Frank Stilwagner, Village Theatre (WA), Chair 
Charma Bonanno, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company (VT)
Charlie Frasier, ZACH Theatre (TX)
Jill Big Eagle, The 5th Avenue Theatre (WA)
Jeffrey Herrmann, Seattle Repertory Theatre (WA)
Chris Marcacci, The 5th Avenue Theatre (WA)


Registration Rates and Deadlines

Registration will open in January, 2019, but you can start planning and book your hotel now!

  • The NAMT Spring Conference is open to NAMT members in good standing and invited guests. If you are not a NAMT member (or are unsure of your membership status) and would like to attend the Spring Conference, please email Membership Director Adam Grosswirth or call (212) 714-6668 x15.
  • Registration rates:
    • Full registration for organizational members (and invited non-members)
      • $525 for the first attendee from your organization ($625 for non-members)
      • $460 for the second attendee ($560 for non-members)
      • $440 for the third attendee ($540 for non-members)
      • $420 for the fourth attendee (and more) ($520 for non-members)
      • The more people you bring, the more you save! 
    • One day only for organizational members (and invited non-members)
      • $310 for the first attendee from your organization ($410 for non-members)
      • $275 for additional one-day-only attendees ($375 for non-members)
    • Associate members
      • $575 for the full conference
      • $360 for one day
  • Conference registration includes the kick-off cocktail party on March 28, two full days of programming on March 29 and 30 (including breakfast and lunch both days, and a reception and cabaret on March 29).
    • In addition, this year we are hosting an intensive workshop on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on the afternoon of March 28, before the official start of the conference. This workshop is available to all Spring Conference attendees at at no extra charge.
    • Plus, see below for add-on events such as theatre tickets!
  • Register by February 21 for the above rates. All prices will increase by $100 on February 22.
  • The final registration deadline is March 17. Email Member Services Director Adam Grosswirth for more information.
  • Payments must be received by the registration deadline or your registration will be canceled. Re-registrations will be billed at the applicable rate on the date of the new processing.
  • The cancellation deadline is March 11. Fees will be refunded, less a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds will be allowed after the cancellation deadline.
Not a member? Email Adam.

Add-On Events

In addition to the main Conference programming, the following events may be added to your registration:

  • Racial Equity Institute, March 28
    • FREE! Just let us know if you plan to attend when you register
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Village Theatre, March 29
    • Winner of five Tony Awards and seven Olivier Awards, this compelling sensory drama is based on the award-winning book of the same name.
    • Tickets $35
    • Register by February 28
  • Marie at The 5th Avenue Theatre, March 30
    • An exquisite new musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, based on a famed masterpiece by Edgar Degas and the unknown dancer who inspired it.
    • Tickets $35
    • Register by February 28
  • Sunday at the Seattle Center with NAMT, March 31
    • Special behind-the-scenes tours (and play time!) at some of Seattle’s top arts and culture tourist attractions, including MoPop, Seattle Rep, and the brand new Seattle Opera Center.
    • Tickets $35 (includes monorail ticket)
  • A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Seattle Rep, March 31
    • Nora Helmer’s unexpected homecoming is met with recriminations and the family drama unfolds in this explosively entertaining continuation of Henrik Ibsen’s acclaimed A Doll’s House.
    • Tickets $25
    • Register by February 28
As of 2/15/19. Rates and details subject to change.


Thursday, March 28, 2019
1:30 - 5:00 pmRacial Equity Institute (Add-On)

Seattle Repertory Theatre

FREE! Just let us know if you plan to attend when you register.

This workshop, led by Bookda Gheisar, will delve into and deepen our understanding of dynamics of race and racism and the impact on our individual interactions as well as organizational systems and policies. The workshop will address how important our good intentions are to this work, and how the mainstream, business-as-usual way of doing things can make sensitive issues difficult to discuss. We will focus some of our time on communication strategies across difference and allyship practices and tools.

This  workshop will also provide you with some tools to assess your organizational capacity for addressing equity. Organizations can get stuck in their efforts because of resistance to addressing the issue and concerns about how a focus on racial equity might take staff’s focus away from other critical work. Organizations that effectively lead with and integrate racial equity do this by connecting equity and inclusion to the mission and values of the organization and by building leadership commitment and support for this work. Building buy-in and support from the most influential supporters of the organization (trustees, top donors, other stakeholders) is essential for this work.  

Please join us for this pre-conference intensive workshop. We look forward to dialoguing together, and approaching each other with compassion and insight.

Bookda Gheisar’s career has been devoted to organizations committed to fighting inequities and injustice using equity, justice and inclusion lenses. She’s been the executive director of four nonprofit and philanthropic organizations for a total of 27 years. Bookda has a reputation for uniting diverse stakeholders to co-create sustainable partnerships in both strategic planning and organizational development.

As a consultant, Bookda provides training, organizational assessments, equity plans, and consultation for nonprofit, for profit, and philanthropic organizations to lead with racial equity and social justice.

6:00 - 9:00 pmKick-Off Cocktail Party

2441 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA

Join us for a gorgeous sunset cruise between Lake Union and Lake Washington, taking in points of interest such as Gasworks Park, the Ship Canal, Montlake Cut, Husky Stadium, Mount Rainier, and the spectacular Seattle skyline. With hors d’oeuvres and drinks and lots of time for networking with colleagues while you take in the sites! 

Transportation will be provided from the W Hotel from 5:45 to 6:45 pm. The boat will depart the dock at 7:00 and return at approximately 8:30. Return transportation to the W will be provided from 8:30 to 9:00.

Friday, March 29, 2019
8:00 - 9:30 amBreakfast and Check-In

W Hotel Seattle

9:30 - 10:00 amTransportation to Village Theatre

W Hotel Seattle

Busses will depart promptly at 9:30.

10:00 - 10:30 amWelcome Remarks and Success Story Lightning Round!

Village Theatre First Stage

10:30 - 11:30 amKeynote Presentation: Development Across Departments

VIllage Theatre First Stage

The Seattle Symphony’s Jane Hargraft will share a dynamic presentation on breaking down silos and furthering the culture of philanthropy within your organization.

11:30 am - 12:45 pmPanel: Arts Funding in Challenging Times

Village Theatre First Stage

How can theatres make a case for our importance and break through the noise of a constant news cycle?

Panelists to be announced.

12:45 - 2:00 pmLunch and NAMT Membership Update

Village Theatre Mainstage

2:00 - 3:00 pmBreakout Sessions

Village Theatre Mainstage

Concurrent presentations and small group discussions on various topics:

Changes to Federal Tax Law and Their Impact on Non-Profits
Presentation by an expert TBA

Getting Started with Planned Giving
Presentation and discussion led by Charlie Frasier (ZACH Theatre)

Increasing and Sustaining Board Engagement
Roundtable discussion led by Donna Lynn Hilton (Goodspeed Musicals)

Special Events and Milestones
Roundtable discussion led by Dani Franich (Village Theatre)

3:15 - 3:30 pmA Word From Our Sponsor: Cinevative

Village Theatre First Stage

3:30 - 4:30 pmCase Studies: Special Campaigns

Village Theatre First Stage

NAMT members will present from the trenches on various stages of capital and endowment campaigns. What’s working? What isn’t? How can theatres invest in their futures?

Moderated by Charlie Frasier (ZACH Theatre) with Janell Johnson (Village Theatre), Sharon Maroney (The Broadway Rose Theatre Company), Marc Robin (Fulton Theatre) and more to be announced

4:30 - 5:30 pmPanel: Corporate Trends

Village Theatre First Stage

Giving officers from Seattle area corporations will share what drives their organizations to support the arts locally and nationally.

Panelists to be announced.

5:30 - 7:30 pmReception and Village Originals Cabaret

Village Theatre First Stage

7:30 pmTransportation to W Hotel

For those not attending Curious Incident.

8:00 pmThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Add-On)

Village Theatre Mainstage

10:30 pmTransportation to W Hotel
Saturday, March 30, 2019
8:15 - 9:30 amBreakfast

W Hotel

9:30 - 9:45 amWalk to Fairmont Olympic
9:45 - 11:00 amPanel: Team Fundraising

Fairmont Olympic

Teams from our conference host theatres (The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre) will share how they work together to raise money and make the case for their organizations.

With Jill Big Eagle, Chris Marcacci, Orlando Morales, Jeffrey Herrmann, Jerry Dixon, Robb Hunt, Frank Stillwagner and more to be announced.

11:00 - 11:15 amCoffee Break

Fairmont Olympic

11:15 am - 12:15 pmPanel: Data for Fundraising

Fairmont Olympic

Using data for better fundraising and better storytelling.

12:15 - 1:45 pmLunch and a Keynote Conversation with Ahrens and Flaherty

Fairmont Olympic

Although long-time songwriting teams have become a rarity, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have proved the exception. In 1988, they burst onto the New York theatre scene with the comic musical Lucky Stiff, and their partnership in words and music has flourished ever since.

Ahrens and Flaherty have received theatre, film and music’s highest honors — the Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Olivier Award and Gold Record; as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and three Grammys. They serve on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America and founded the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. In 2014 they received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2015 they were inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

2:00 - 3:00 pmPanel: Foundation Trends

Fairmont Olympic

What are foundations looking for in the organizations and projects they support in 2019? How is this critical piece of our fundraising landscape moving forward in uncertain financial times?

Panelists to be announced.

3:00 - 4:00 pmPanel: Tell Your Story

Fairmont Olympic

What are the newest tools available to bring your message home to your funders — and what tried-and-true methods still shine?

With Nancy Altschuler (Goodspeed Musicals) and to be announced.

4:00 - 4:30 pmClosing Remarks

Fairmont Olympic

5:30 - 8:00 pmClosing Cocktails (Unofficial)

W Hotel

Before you head to the theatre or leave town, join the NAMT staff for a drink at the W bar. Don’t leave without saying goodbye!

8:00 pmMarie (Add-On)

The 5th Avenue Theatre

Sunday, March 31, 2019
9:00 am - 2:00 pmSunday at the Seattle Center with NAMT (Add-On)

Meet at the W Hotel to take the monorail (tickets provided) to the Seattle Center.

This morning will include special guided tours of MoPop, a look at the brand new Seattle Opera Center, and a backstage tour at Seattle Rep, followed by lunch on your own before A Doll’s House, Part 2.

2:00 pmA Doll's House, Part 2 (Add-On)

Seattle Repertory Theatre

As of 2/4/19. Subject to change!

Hotels & Accommodations

W Seattle

1112 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA



An urban retreat in the heart of downtown, W Seattle combines the energy of the city with the serenity of the Pacific Northwest. Recently refreshed and boasting updated accommodations, thoughtful amenities and scenic views of the city and Puget Sound, our luxury hotel is an inimitable travel destination in Seattle, WA. 

Soak up the vibrant scene in Living Room, our lobby bar and lounge, before heading to a memorable dinner at TRACE. Offering inspired seasonal fare in an award-winning atmosphere, it's a not-to-be-missed culinary experience in downtown Seattle. Work it all off the next morning at FIT®, our state-of-the-art fitness center before wandering out to explore many of the area's nearby attractions, including Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square and the Seattle Art Museum. As always, we've got you covered during your time at W Seattle with our signature Whatever/Whenever® service - your wish is truly our command.

Spring Conference attendees may book rooms at the W Seattle during the Conference for our extremely discounted rate of $179/night (plus applicable taxes and fees)*. Book by Friday, February 22, 2019 to secure this rate. Rooms are limited and subject to availability.

*The group rate is available online for the nights of March 27-31. If you'd like to add some time to your trip to explore Seattle, the rate may be applied for three days before and after the Conference, subject to room availability. Please email adam@namt.org if you'd like to book outside our block, or are having any other trouble with booking, and we'll check with the hotel for you.

Book This Deal

Directions & Activities



$1,000 – $10,000

By sponsoring NAMT’s Spring Conference, you will have valuable, personal access to NAMT’s membership — 200 organizations and theatre professionals across the country and abroad. The conference attendees are the top decision-makers in their organizations, including marketing directors, development directors, artistic directors, managing directors, general managers and more, all of whom work with some of the most well-known names in the theatre industry!

Sponsor Benefits

  • Complimentary conference registrations
  • Presentation during the conference, exhibitor table, or your company’s branding on a conference event
  • Marketing materials in digital and paper attendee packets
  • Attendee mailing list
  • Your company logo on our website and on conference signs and materials
  • and more!

Compare All Sponsor & Exhibitor Levels and Benefits (PDF)


$600 – $1,100

Exhibitors at the Spring Conference have the opportunity to display their products and services and connect directly with attendees throughout the Conference.

Exhibitor Benefits

  • Exhibitor table in high traffic area during the Conference
  • Access to Conference networking events
  • Your company logo on our website and on conference signs and materials
  • and more!
Compare All Sponsor & Exhibitor Levels and Benefits (PDF) Contact Us To Learn More or to Join Us at our next Conference!

Click here for more information and ways to support NAMT.


Participation Guidelines

NAMT is committed to recognizing and celebrating the diversity of experiences, talents, skills, cultures and opinions that our members bring to our community, and specifically to our events. We invite you to participate in the Fall Conference and Festival of New Musicals in a spirit of open-mindedness, curiosity and respect.

We want every NAMT event to be a safe, inclusive and productive environment for all participants. In that spirit, we ask you to…

  • Be inclusive, actively seeking and inviting diverse perspectives
  • Listen to understand
  • Participate in an active and direct way, with professionalism and respect for others
  • Be considerate, kind, constructive and helpful in your language and actions
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and language
  • Respect confidentiality requests by speakers and other attendees

NAMT staff and Board may take action (up to and including expulsion with no refund and exclusion from future events) to redress disruptive, disrespectful or offensive behavior or any other actions deemed in conflict with the above guidelines.

Thank you to every NAMT community member for helping to make all of our events informative, inclusive and respectful.