CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE:
Great news! With the help of several local businesses, Harbor Playhouse has received a donation of a brand new digital piano right as their 30-year-old piano gave out.
Feathered Friends and Co. and Desert Flower Shop, with the help of several others, were able to raise the money to buy the non-profit the new piano.
Two Corpus Christi businesses are using the giving season as a perfect time to help the Harbor Playhouse. Feathered Friends and Co. and Desert Flower Shop are raising money to buy the non-profit two new digital pianos.
“On the two pianos that we have there, they’re having to crank them up or have them warm up, attach speakers to get them to work properly," said Marcus Lozano, owner of Feathered Friends and frequent volunteer of the theater. "And one day I asked, I said 'hey how old are those digital pianos?' And they’re like 'well you know we’ve had them for about 30 years.' Maybe I could do something to help."
Lozano let his friends at Desert Flower Shop host a pop-up shop in his parking lot, the week before Christmas. Twenty percent of their profits will go towards helping the Harbor Playhouse.
Desert Flower Shop's fundraising pop-up shop helps many schools and non-profits. Not to mention, the variety of items they sell are from non-profits.
“I think it’s something that’s really positive and these days there’s so much negative that if there’s ways we can make people happier with pianos, making music and enjoying the arts of Corpus Christi, I think that’s a blessing,” said Ashley Ginithan, co-owner of the pop-up shop.
"They do a lot for the community and they have youth camps," Lozano said. "They have so many different things that they do that why shouldn’t they have nice new equipment to teach the children?"
When COVID-19 hit and forced a temporary shut down, it hurt many businesses, especially non-profits like Harbor Playhouse.
"The average theater goer does not realize that, that production took two months of constant preparation and also the money it takes to put those on," Amy Goldson said, board member of the theater and long-time volunteer. "At any given time a production costs Harbor Playhouse a minimum of usually $20,000 and can go as high as upwards of $65,000."
The theater didn't have shows for a year, resulting in no money to purchase any new equipment.
“The monies that we raise on tickets, concessions, that goes for the next production and ensures that we always have another production," said Goldosn. "We’ve got one rolling, we’ve got another one in the pot, so to speak. And it’s hard for us to pull out money for additional expenses.”
Goldson is grateful for the initiative Lozano has taken. She said the pianos can help with rehearsals, auditions and occasionally productions. In fact, the upcoming production of "Clue" is set to have a part with a live band.
“Now we usually have two different productions that are working at the same time," she said. "So, two are going to be extremely beneficial."
"With pianos that are 30 years newer, they come with new technology," said Lozano. "So, this new technology will make learning a lot easier. Having Bluetooth capability from your phone to a piano, it's pretty phenomenal. These ones from 1991 don't have that."
The fundraising effort began when Lozano held a fundraising raffle. With businesses such as Feathered Friends, Harbor Playhouse, Piano Gallery and Clean Hair Salon Studios taking part, they raised $2,000 towards the pianos.
They hope the pop-up shop profits will get them closer to adding another $3,500.
The shop is located in the parking lot of Feathered Friends on S. Alameda St. It will be open until 6 p.m. Thursday and again Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Harbor Playhouse always accepts donations. You can make a cash donation when you stop in for a show. You can sponsor a show and depending on the contribution, you can be featured in the production or spotlighted in their slideshow. Clothing, fabric and prop donations are also accepted.