DreamCity, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, respectfully requests $500 to support the cost of staging 11 performances of The 70. These performances will take place at the 276- seat Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lang Theatre from June 19th to June 29th of 2008. In addition, we must reserve space at Lang Theater on four other days to perform load-in, load-out, and technical preparations. Performances are free to all seniors, students, and military personnel and a reasonable $15 for all other audience members. Your support will help us attract more than 3,000 area residents to the audience. We aim to draw the majority of our audience from the neighboring communities of H Street NE, and communities serviced by the 70 bus -- 7th Street NW, Georgia Avenue, and the Southwest Waterfront. After each performance, we will host a discussion on issues related to the performance and the neighborhood it depicts. Two-time Emmy nominated producer Beverly Lindsay-Johnson will lead the discussions following weekend performances. Her documentary, At Howard: 70 Bus Line will premiere on WHUT-TV on September 16th, 2007 at 8pm. It features DreamCity and The 70 due to the tremendous groundswell of support and interest the play and organization has generated in the community. The Do Something; Game Stop Grant's support would enable DreamCity Theater Company to build off the past success of The 70 and continue to grow. I. Organization Introduction DreamCity is an entirely youth-led and community-driven theater company. The Mayor of DC and Youth Venture both recognize our community efforts to make arts more accessible to under-resourced and under-voiced audiences, youth and seniors alike. The material for our theater comes directly from contemporary life in Washington DC– life to which our writers, actors, and audiences relate. The Washington Post, News Channel 8, and ABC News have featured us as an example of the new generation of community oriented and socially activist artists. Our cast of 35 ranges in age from 13 to 76, from college professors to adult literacy class graduates, from grandmothers to grandchildren, from middle-school students to college students, from parolees to retirees. The cast is inter-generational and a vehicle for the young to hear the city’s stories from the lifelong residents; for the older generation to become role models for the young. DreamCity not only presents the city to its citizens, but involves the city’s residents in the city’s reflection of themselves. DreamCity creates not just the written, copyrighted play, but brings the play to life. In doing so, DreamCity creates a production of the city, by the city, and for the city. We have an extremely dedicated corps of more than 15 volunteers with various levels of experience dedicated to building a premier theatre company. For example, Raymond Watson, Co-Founder of Living Stones Theatre Company at Howard University is one of our dedicated professional staff members. Our acting coach, Ruth Hollinger, has studied theatre in Paris, France and at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Our webmaster John Mai has been designing websites for nearly 3 years. We have more than 15 dedicated volunteers ranging from a media relations manager to a grants manager who are the engine behind DreamCity. Our staff commits itself to producing new and innovative community-based work. II. Qualifications Over the summer of 2006, more than 4,000 people attended performances of The 70. We presented ten (10) performances at the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Library, two (2) at the DC Hip Hop Theater Festival, one (1) at American University, and another at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland. Furthermore, we have participated in panel discussions about The 70 and DreamCity at Georgetown University, George Washington University, and at the Washington DC Humanities Council's DC Community Heritage Project. After those 2006 performances, we collected more than 700 audience-completed surveys. The surveys helped us determine our audience’s demographics and reactions to The 70. According to the surveys we collected last summer, 22% of our audience members were under the age of 25, 27% was between 25 and 49, and 51% of our audience was over the age of 50. Furthermore, 56% of our audience had been to the Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, National Theatre, Ford’s Theatre Warner Theatre, Warehouse Theatre, Studio Theatre, Tivoli Theatre or the DCAC in the previous calendar year. Additionally, our audience reflected the cultural diversity of our city with 6% identifying themselves as Asian, 11% identified themselves as Latino, 39% identified themselves as Caucasian, and 44% identified themselves as African-American. I have included four copies of last year’s survey with our application for your review. We will have surveys inserted in our programs for our upcoming performances of The 70 at the Atlas to keep this line of communication with our audience open. III. The 70 The 70 chronicles the last day of a veteran Metro bus driver as he navigates an infamous bus route through the district's arterial avenue. The 70 bus runs from the Silver Spring Metro station to the Southwest Waterfront. The play truthfully depicts the successes and struggles that riders encounter in their daily lives. The 70 captures the oral history of 7th street and Georgia Avenue. It preserves the unwavering character, spirit, and essence of 7th Streetand Georgia Avenue in scenes respectful and reverent to all of DC. The 70 is on ode to the communities of 7th Street and Georgia Avenue, and the vibrant residents and people that give Uptown its livelihood. The play captures the pathos of members of our community who are seen but not understood. For example, we hear from the DVD Man, the quintessential street hustler played by a former DVD Man – who provides a valuable “service to the community” by selling inexpensive CDs and DVDs to those who cannot otherwise afford them. Additionally, we feature an eye-opening scene in which middle school students recount the events leading to the suspension of a classmate. Another popular scene is when two young and idealistic social workers, fresh to the city, begin an accidental discussion with local high school students over the phenomenon of urban pseudo-activism. Another clash of cultures occurs when a church lady who lost her only son to street violence confronts a young man who seems on a collision course with trouble. She speaks to him with respect and, by the end of their conversation, convinces him to join her in church. DreamCity updated the script after last summer’s show to respond to several pressing issues that the original production did not address. We added a scene featuring a disgruntled Veteran who, after receiving money from his girlfriend back home, decides to leave his decrepit lodging at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for more comfortable lodgings downtown. He takes the 70 bus to get there. His conversation with Mr. Wonderful, a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, is a brotherly reflection on the principles of the American military and its servicemen. Furthermore, we have two characters whose scenes deal directly with the staggering rates of illiteracy in our city. Mr. Vincent, 65, is working towards earning his GED so he won’t “die and can’t read”. He talks to young people about the struggles of his life and encourages them to get involved in local literacy efforts so they can “realize the power of education for those who don’t have none.” Thaddeus, an old friend of Mr. Wonderful, has been forced into retirement by the US Park Service for his age. Through a service provided by the DC Public Library he is able to dictate his work experience to a volunteer who drafts him a resume. He wants to stay busy and applies to desk jobs using this resume. However, employers quickly turn him down when he demonstrates his inability to fill out application form. Mr. Wonderful can only offer his close friend encouragement as the defeated Thaddeus rides the 70 home. Other scenes show Mr. Wonderful’s close relationship with his grandson and his long-time friendship with his teacher, Mrs. Turner. We also get a chance to see how Mr. Wonderful responds to unruly riders who infringe upon other rider’s right to a safe and pleasant ride. Throughout the play and in scenes where he speaks with old neighbors and friends, we come to trust Mr. Wonderful as a true hero of the community. In a time when the city is undergoing fundamental changes, The 70 establishes a homegrown voice that is a product of the city’s heart and soul. The 70 speaks equally for the youth of the city, the lost souls of the city, the seniors, the generational Washingtonians, the educated, the uneducated, the newcomers, the affluent, and the working class. IV. Supporters DreamCity has received support from Chevy Chase Bank, the Sprenger and Lang Foundation, Washington DC Humanities Council, DC Commission on Arts & Humanities, Serve DC, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, The Washington Post, Ashoka-Youth Venture, Staples, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, Georgetown University, American University, University of Maryland, George Washington University, Pepperdine University, Capitol Hill Community Foundation, and other community groups as well as individuals. To date, DreamCity has not received prior support or submitted any previous proposals to the Do Something Grant Applications. We have received $10,000 from Chevy Chase Bank, $5,000 from the Washington DC Humanities Council, $2,500 from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, $3,000 from the Sprenger and Lang Foundation, $1,000 from the Staples Foundation for Learning, $1,000 from the Washington Post, and $1,000 from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 to support our presentation of The 70. Smaller and individual contributions constitute another $3,555. At the time of writing, our committed supporters have contributed $27,055 thus far. The Washington Post has been very supportive of DreamCity in our organization’s short history. On July 25th, 2006 we were featured on the front page of the Metro Section (DC, Maryland, and Virginia editions) with a significant article. As noted before, we received $1,000 from Eric Grant and the Washington Post Foundation to support our upcoming performances of The 70 at the Atlas in June of 2008. Our publicity campaign complements our requests for financial support. In addition to Metro’s marketing relationship with us, more than a dozen local papers have featured us. They include The Washington Post, The Washington Informer, The Common Denominator, The Intowner, DC North, The Washington Post Express, East of the River, Hill Rag, GW Magazine, The Foggy Bottom Current, Young DC, The GW Hatchet, The District Chronicles, and The Northwest Current. News Channel 8 has featured us multiple times, and ABC News also ran a feature on us. In the process of growing our organization we are working with Youth Venture to not only continue our strong local following, but also promote DreamCity’s social entrepreneurship through the arts to gain national media exposure. Our website received more than 100,000 hits over the course of 14 months. We continue to seek new supporters to help underwrite the other costs of performing at the Atlas. The Marpat Foundation invited us to submit a Stage Two proposal due August 15th. That proposal requests $15,000. We have applications pending with the Meyer Foundation for $12,000 and with the Daniel and Mary Loughran Foundation for $11,000. We will apply to the Dallas Morse Coors Foundation in September and request $6,000. Furthermore, we will continue applying to local, regional, and national foundations such as the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities for financial support. We also aim to cultivate networks of potential supporters within the local business community between now and the June 2008 performances. V. Organization Prospectus DreamCity’s mission is to preserve the folklore, history, and culture of the Washington, DC metropolitan area through the performing arts. It also aims to contribute a unique voice to the resurgent arts and theatre community. Through our innovative programming, DreamCity continues an ongoing dialogue with residents, and builds a framework that supports cultural preservation and social engagement. DreamCity is an emerging and innovative arts organization and currently one of the newest theatre companies in the city. We do not have the years’ and decades’ worth of experience of our contemporaries; but with the continuous outpouring of community support, we made an undeniable mark. With the tremendous indigenous interest and support of The 70 and DreamCity, I see The 70 as an artistic rendering of DC that performs and grows beyond DC’s borders. The production of this play along with others in the works at DreamCity, SOUTHSIDE, Mayor 4 Life, Washington Goes To War (based on David Brinkley’s well-known book), and 4 Days in April, will establish us as a premier Washington Theatre Company. That emergence will help the local artistic community receive its long-deserved, but overlooked recognition as a cultural destination equivalent to New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Theatergoers and critics underestimate DC as a cultural and artistic hub where emerging talent can carve local, regional, and national followings. My hope is that achievement. My long-term goal is to make DreamCity in Washington what the Public Theatre is to New York City. I have been told and received inquires about touring The 70 not only throughout DC and the surrounding metropolitan area, but taking The 70 on a tour throughout the east coast focusing on theatre conferences and festivals. This would require serious sponsorship from an organization such as the Case Foundation or Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure the logistics of moving the cast and the set. Before any tour of The 70 is launched, we must perform the play here in our city to sold-out audiences to gain exposure, hone our skills, and spread the word. With support from the DO Something; Game Stop Grant program, DreamCity will be able to continue growing our diverse audience and reaching out to young adults and seniors alike in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Recognition from the DO Something, Game Stop Application would not only help us in our efforts to raise vital resources, but it would offer further legitimacy to our movement. DO Something is a nationwide organization highlighting the incredible work of young adults and it is time to begin promoting our work outside of the Beltway. This grant would enable us to reach more young adults and learn from their initiatives which truly create a supportive and colloborative nationwide movement. Thank you in advance for your attention and support.