A Gilbert nonprofit is planning a gala to raise funds for its big dream of building a performing arts theater “to enrich our East Valley communities.
INSPIRE Music Service Hope will hold its “A Night at the Theatre” gala starting at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Crown Plaza Hotel, One S. San Marcos Place in downtown Chandler. It will be hosted by Amber Barto, the 2021 Miss America, and will include live performances of Broadway show tunes, dinner and a live auction featuring helicopter rides, international service tours, a hand-drawn family portrait and more.
Tickets start at $150 for two guests while tables cost $750 and can accommodate 10. They are available at inspiremsh.org/gala-tickets. And sponsorships are still available by writing email@example.com.
INSPIRE vocal director and spokesman Eric Sackett said the nonprofit is eyeing several sites for a 65,000 square-foot-venue “designed to enrich our East Valley communities.”
“The project will bring new economic opportunities to Arizona, provide new jobs to hundreds of workers, and offer a professional venue to host Broadway-caliber performances and tours,” he said.
The nonprofit envisions the new facility will include a 600-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat studio theatre that would be available for events, back-of-the-house support with a scene shop, dressing rooms and other facilities; a 10,000-square-foot administration space, and rehearsal and classroom spaces.
Currently, INSPIRE’s for-profit business, INSPIRE Entertainment, owns and operates a dance studio at Baseline and Greenfield roads, where it has more than 800 students in its various performance classes.
The nonprofit’s mission is to be an organization that “lifts hearts, inspires action, and empowers people of all ages through music, service and hope.”
“We’ve had a vision of what we’ve wanted to do since the beginning, and this gala is the first big step in seeing that vision come to life,” said Michael Sackett, CEO and founder of both the nonprofit and for-profit INSPIRE entities. “We are excited to build on our success and lay out the plan for how we can come together to accomplish this monumental task.
“INSPIRE MSH wants to create a better ecosystem of performers who seek to use their gifts for good and build upon the great arts programs Arizona already has. This new performing arts center will be a hub and home for businesses and individuals who are at the forefront of making that meaningful impact.”
The inspiration for INSPIRE was born in 2006, when Michael Sackett was visiting an orphanage in Korea with Brigham Young University’s Young Ambassadors.
He recalls on his website that a “super smile, pigtailed, buck tooth girl” was sitting on his lap and he began thinking how she had been dropped off on the orphanage’s doorstep and would likely never enjoy the blessings he had in life.
Five years later he decided to quit his job and with the help of Kylee Shields, a Utah social worker, founded INSPIRE Music Service Hope.
The nonprofit started as a chorus and eventually added a youth vocal performance. It then formed a company after seeing a need “for more professional quality performing arts opportunities,” the group’s website says, Sacket created INSPIRE Entertainment to help people prepare for careers in performing arts.
In 2016, the nonprofit’s students and families went on an international service tour to Columbia and has since then has performed in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize and Fiji.
It also has awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships to over 30 students.
“When done right, the arts can strengthen communities and provide a meaningful space for people to come together and create positive projects that can really change people for the better,” said Ariel Johnson, the nonprofit’s board president.
Added Eric Sackett: “Music is therapy. It is a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient. We seek to lift hearts in the lives of all who interact with IMSH, both as a participant on one of our many tours, helping at our service projects, being a part of the music, and as a beneficiary of the many wonderful projects we do.”