Broadway Utica’s “Beyond The Stage” Makes Strides for Women in the Workforce

November 30, 2021

Broadway Utica’s “Beyond The Stage” Makes Strides for Women in the Workforce

The bright lights of Broadway lit up Genesee Street once again as hundreds of excited theatre-goers side-stepped their way into Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Armed with new notebooks, pens, and some sassy looking heels, audience members were ready to Dim Out The Lights, bring on the show, and fill laundry baskets with workplace necessities to help propel women into the workforce.

Since reopening in 2021, Broadway Utica has strived to take the community “Beyond The Stage,” supporting nonprofits that provide a stepping stone for those in need around us. By highlighting area programs, Broadway Utica looks to draw attention to opportunities that drive our community, while raising funds and stocking shelves with each performance run.

Drawing from the theme of empowerment, hard work, and everything female in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Broadway Utica carefully crafted “She Works Hard For The Money Campaign,” in which they chose Empowered Pathways as the recipient.

For more than 30 years, the mission of Women’s Employment and Resource Center has remained the same; to help women successfully enter the local workforce through specialized training programs and one-on-one personal assistance. As a non-for-profit agency designed to help women create self-directed solutions and move forward with their lives through education, advocacy, and empowerment. Broadway Utica called on our always generous community, requesting donations for workaday supplies such as notebooks, pens, umbrellas, bus passes, and gas gift cards as a way of showing support for those who are ready to Work Hard for the Money, a featured song in Summer: Donna Summer Musical.

“The response from ‘She Works Hard For The Money Campaign’ which was a partnership with Empowered Pathways, was purely overwhelming,” Broadway Utica’s Executive Director, Danielle Padula stated. “Our patrons filled laundry baskets with monetary donations and items of necessity for women who are entering and getting back into the workforce, but it was the conversations and awareness that came through these donations that created a buzz that we believe will be felt long after the show.”

Broadway Utica’s Youth Ambassadors, or Yappers as they’re known on set, welcomed audience members, staff, cast, and crew, and thanked them as they piled donations into laundry baskets – a symbol not lost among women – in hopes of making an impact for others in the community.

“The partnership between Broadway Utica and WERC was an inspiration! Ms. Summer “worked hard for her money” and so do the ladies who come to WERC to better their lives and careers. We are so grateful to all who donated and attended the event. The show was fantabulous!” Lewellyne Blanchard, Restorative Justice Coordinator said.

While being able to give filled everyone’s heart, Broadway Utica left a lasting impact on women both currently and formerly working with WERC who gathered together to enjoy the show.

“What an honor it was to partner with Broadway Utica for the Donna Summer Musical! Her story was not only inspirational but also a powerful message for women that still resonates today.  We are so thankful to everyone who came out to enjoy the musical and support the women we serve through the WERC program,” Stephanie Eghigian, Executive Director for Empowered Pathways stated

Among the donations were laundry detergent, hygiene products, purses, laptop bags, umbrellas, and plenty of stationery supplies.

“The fact that we have an amazing program to help women get back on their feet in Downtown Utica is something that makes our community even more unique. We pride ourselves on helping others and this campaign reminded us why we do what we do. Donna Summer was a powerhouse and our community is too!” Padula exclaimed.

For more information on WERC, or to see how you can donate, please visit Home | Empoweredpathwayscny


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