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New Artists Productions receives donation

From left, Bandon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Miller; Pauline Brown, a 100 Strong Bandon member; Anita Almich, co-founder of New Artists Productions youth theater; and MaryAnn Soukup, founder of 100 Strong Bandon, pose with a check signifying a $4,450 donation from 100 Strong Bandon to New Artists Productions.

BANDON - New Artists Productions youth theater is the recipient of the third 100 Strong Bandon charitable donation. 

The 100 Strong Bandon group is a giving circle, coordinated by the Bandon Chamber of Commerce that supports local charities. Quarterly, the members meet, select a 501(c)(3) charity that benefits Bandon area residents and make a tax-deductible donation of $50 or more directly to that charity, all within a one-hour meeting.

In addition, the charity selected by the group in the prior quarter presents a report on how they used the funds and thanks the donors.

At the initial meeting for 100 Strong Bandon in May 2017, participants made a $2,550 donation to Bandon Feeds the Hungry, supporting five area food assistance charities that have banded together to meet the needs of the hungry in the Bandon area.

The group next met in August and contributed $3,450 to the Bandon Community Preschool, a nonprofit charity dedicated to enriching the lives of preschool children and ensuring they are prepared to enter kindergarten.

In November, the group met for a third time and voted to support New Artists Productions youth theater by contributing $4,450.

Co-founders Dan and Anita Almich were overwhelmed and grateful for the support.

“We will be using the money received from 100 Women Strong for our April 2018 production of Disney’s 'The Lion King Jr.’” Anita Almich said.

“We will be using the donations to purchase materials for sets, scenery, costuming and specialty make-up needs. Plus, Dan has some specialty lighting ideas to help establish a spectacular presentation of the characters. He has ordered lighting equipment which we are experimenting with to get the right effect.

“The donation has allowed us to think ‘outside the box’ more than we normally do.”

Almich added that the costuming for Disney’s "The Lion King Jr.” will be as authentic as they can make it. New Artists is purchasing African Kente fabrics for the main costumes and beads for accenting.

“The cast members are attending work parties to help make masks and head pieces, are already learning the music from the play and are choreographing the various dances needed in the production,” Almich said. “We are also establishing a djembe drum group to add authentic African music to selected times throughout the musical.

“New Artists Productions is truly blessed that 100 Women Strong rewarded our program with their accumulated donation of $4,450,” Almich added. “I think that Bandon is so fortunate to have the establishment of 100 Women Strong to identify the many wonderful nonprofit programs and projects taking place in our community.

“Sometimes I get so busy with New Artists, that I am unaware of what others are doing to make a difference in Bandon. 100 Women Strong is bringing these programs to light and making the entire community aware of the good that so many others do. Thank you once again.”

New Artists Productions

Dan and Anita Almich founded New Artists Productions in 1995 with the intent of providing opportunities for youth through the performance arts. They funded the activities personally at no expense to the participants. The program produced musical recordings for students who auditioned for school and state competitions, as well as producing recorded CDs by local youth bands.

When the drama program at Bandon High School was eliminated from the curriculum, the Almichs decided to expand their organization by continuing to offer drama opportunities to the youth of the community as an extra-curricular activity.

New Artists offers a year-round program with at least two major productions at no cost to participants. The theater group has produced over 80 shows and stage opportunities and has introduced over 600 young actors to all aspects of theater performance. Participating students range in age from 5 to 18 and come from Bandon, Reedsport, Coos Bay, North Bend, Coquille, Langlois, Sixes and Port Orford

New Artists Productions became a tax-exempt nonprofit in 2002 and all donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. The program is supported through private donation, ticket sales and grant funding.

100 Strong Bandon

There is no membership fee to join 100 Strong Bandon, and the Chamber does not retain any percentage of the funds donated to local charities. MaryAnn Soukup, founder, encourages all members to attend the February meeting and bring a friend.

The next meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 21, in the first floor room at Lord Bennett’s, 1695 Beach Loop Drive SW. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the meeting will run from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

To register as a member or find out more about the group, go to

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