Donor Spotlight: Charlotte and Sonya Wall
This month marks our second annual Femme month at The Cultch; both have been generously supported by Charlotte and Sonya Wall. We chatted with Charlotte and Sonya to learn a bit more about their involvement with The Cultch and their passion for supporting female artists.
Thank you so much for joining us in this edition of The Cultch’s Donor Spotlight! You have both been long-time supporters of The Cultch. Can you tell us how you first got involved with the organization?
Sonya: I first became involved with The Cultch through attending theatre productions. I loved the diversity and originality of The Cultch productions and believed that The Cultch offered Vancouverites the opportunity to see theatre which was contemporary, thought provoking and international in its scope. I wanted to support such an endeavour. Around the same time, I also got to know Heather Redfern – who is marvelous – through the restoration of the York Theatre. I asked Heather how Charlotte and I could best help The Cultch and so we came up with the idea of a Femme February or January theme.
What has surprised you most about working/partnering with The Cultch?
Sonya: What has surprised me most about working and partnering with The Cultch is the enthusiasm, dedication and openness of everyone. They are all committed to providing the best experience for the theatre goer and for the actors, writers, directors and technical staff. Everyone works in concert with each other and are super organized – a rarity in any organization! Also, the creative energy at The Cultch is amazing.
Charlotte: I too, admire the dedication and enthusiasm I constantly encounter when I am at The Cultch. I think The Cultch provides an important service in the community in regards to women in theatre and consistently stages contemporary and cutting-edge work.
Charlotte, you are a trained and practicing visual artist. Do you find that engaging with other art forms, such as theatre and dance, contributes to your own artistic practice?
Charlotte: As an artist working also in a contemporary mode, I strongly believe that all art forms influence and benefit each other.The expression of thought and discovery in every form relates to the endeavours of artists in other mediums.
I find the staging involved in both theatre and dance can easily inform some of my work, especially since I often deal with the manipulation of spacial assumptions. The composition of characters in a play on stage or the choreography of dance involves the same process as composing a sculpture or an installation.
I look forward to many more Cultch events and I will always enjoy the open minds that present us with challenging and intriguing visual offerings.
Sonya, you are passionate about supporting women in higher education and the arts. What do find fulfilling about supporting women in these particular areas?
Sonya: I am a strong believer and proponent for supporting and recognizing women in the Arts and all fields. I am not sure if “fulfilling” is the feeling I get from supporting this belief, rather it is a balancing. I can remember in the ’80s taking a modern American literature course and looking at the outline and realizing that we would only be reading one work written by a woman compared to 9 by men. When I queried this imbalance, the Professor stated that he had neither noticed the discrepancy nor did he care. I would like to say that my voluble reaction to his response resulted in a change, but alas, no. While this scenario is probably not as visible today, it is, nevertheless, still necessary to foreground women’s work in all areas as we have still not achieved that optimal balance. One only has to look at the economics of wage parity within today’s society. So, supporting Femme Feb/Jan makes me feel as if I am helping achieve a balance, which, frankly, I am still fairly voluble about.
Can you tell us what wish other people knew about The Cultch?
Sonya: I wish people knew how hard everyone at The Cultch works to continue providing the audience and community with top notch entertainment. Every season brings new, exciting and professional works to the stage. Truly amazing.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to The Cultch but hasn’t made the move yet?
Sonya: Don’t stop at “go,” just give.
One last question, what are you curious about right now?
Sonya: I am curious about the tipping point society has recently reached as women finally feel they can speak out about sexual harassment. I am also interested in seeing how this movement changes the workplace – both the conduct and the demographic. And, I am most curious to see Hot Brown Honey along with many other Cultch productions. Should be fun.
As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today!
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001