Willits Fund benefits community theater – Times-Standard


The Timothy A. Willits Memorial Fund was established by the Willits family to encourage people of all ages to participate in the administration of the Humboldt County Community Theater.

After Willits retired, he was an active member of the board of directors of the Humboldt Light Opera Company and was involved in a host of behind-the-scenes tasks that helped the company move forward – from maintaining the website and from cleaning the SPACE to the ticket office and house management.

The Timothy A. Willits Memorial Fund provides support to nonprofit community theater companies in Humboldt County – those that produce local theater with primarily local artists – to meet and help overcome the challenges facing their organizations in encouraging leadership training in arts administration.

“Over the past year and a half, COVID-19 has had a huge negative impact on local theater. The Timothy A. Willits Memorial Fund makes the local theater feel that there is hope, that there is a future, that there will be theater after COVID-19, ”said Reese Hughes, member of the Timothy A. Willits Memorial Fund Committee.

Local non-profit community theaters can apply for funding in four areas, including funding for internships, mentors or consultants for specific theater needs, courses in specific areas related to arts administration theater and board development. Marketing, fundraising, financial planning, theatrical operations, and graphics are just a few of the topics funded. Applications for interns are open to those 18 years of age and over with sponsorship from a Humboldt County non-profit community theater.

The fund was set up under the auspices of HLOC but administered by an arts-focused committee of the community as a whole.

“Our Humboldt community has been extremely generous with donations to HLOC in honor of Tim’s life. It is thanks to this generosity that the fund was created. Although it will continue to be funded by the Willits family in the future, this original generosity will never be forgotten, ”said Jim Willits.

Carol Ryder, committee member, said: “We would like to encourage those who are interested in learning more about how a theater works or those who want to help ensure that the theater remains vital to Humboldt by helping behind the scenes, to contact the theaters (FRT, NCRT, RCT, HLOC or Main Stage) to see how we can help. The Memorial Fund was specifically developed to encourage education in the administration of nonprofit theater. It’s a huge gift for all of us.

“What a wonderful way to honor the legacy of Tim Willits,” said Gerry Tollefson, committee member.

For more information about the fund, see the Timothy A. Willits Memorial Fund link at www.hloc.org.

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