Transforming our Future at The Wilma Theater

“At the Wilma, we insist on art being the focus and reason for our existence. But it’s not enough to merely insist. We need to create conditions under which the art at the Wilma can blossom and be continuously rediscovered and redefined.” - Blanka Zizka, Artistic Director


With the Transformation Fund, The Wilma Theater envisions a future where we offer our artists the best possible conditions for creating new theatrical work, giving them the time and resources to explore complex questions of human existence through collaborative experimentation with freshly original performance forms and styles. This $10 million campaign will allow us to engage our artists in an ongoing development of their craft, while also engaging meaningfully with our community in exchanging authentic ideas. Through a strategic mix of endowment funds and annual project support, the Fund will keep artists at the forefront of our mission and will transform our building to best serve the audience’s experience of our work.


Transforming our Art and Artists
The Transformation Fund places artistic development and innovation at the forefront of how the Wilma creates living, adventurous art. Its initiatives include: 

  • Establishing the Wilma HotHouse resident company, an ensemble of Philadelphia-based artists who are empowered to take creative risks under the Wilma’s auspices. The HotHouse meets with artistic director Blanka Zizka to conduct workshops, explore texts, and further develop the Wilma’s new aesthetic.

  • Hiring the highest caliber of national and international master trainers to lead in-depth workshops in various theatrical techniques for local artists.

  • Developing bold new projects and world premieres over expanded multi-year timelines, offering creative resources to playwrights, designers, and directors.

  • Sharing the Wilma’s artistic aesthetic with our Philadelphia community through the HotHouse Studio, providing training and educational opportunities for students and artists throughout our region.

 

Transforming our Space
The Transformation Fund will reinvigorate the Wilma’s active presence on the Avenue of the Arts, creating a convivial gathering space for audience members and a welcoming façade for passersby. Its transformation of our physical space will include:

  • Converting the Wilma’s current lobby into a full-service, public café, and encouraging audience members, local community members, and theater artists alike to gather for coffee, conversation, and informal programming. 

  • Creating a new training and education space, which will house the Wilma HotHouse, its educational HotHouse Studio, workshop programming, and more.

  • Updating our external façade with enhanced lighting, stained glass, and the name Wilma at Aurora (in honor of the Wyncote Foundation’s $5 million Fund contribution), reaffirming our commitment to the Avenue of the Arts as we move into a new era of art-making.

  • The Fund also includes several naming opportunities starting at the $250,000 level, including our lobby’s redesigned box office, fireplace, al fresco café space, and our full service bar.  Please contact our External Relations Director at 215-893-9456 x109 or contributions@wilmatheater.org for more information.

Transforming our Future
The Transformation Fund will secure the Wilma in the long term, creating a living legacy through the work presented on our stage each season, and supporting that work through establishing a $6 million endowment to support:

  • Artistic innovation providing resources for inspiration, experimentation, and artistic impulses that have not yet been imagined.

  • Facilities enhancements, ensuring the health, sustainability, and improvement of our space on Avenue of the Arts.

  • Artist housing as the Wilma continues to engage guest directors, designers, and master trainers.  

How to Give
To learn more about our capital campaign, plan your major gift, or coordinate a multi-year pledge, please contact our External Relations Director at contributions@wilmatheater.org or 215-893-9456 x109.  All Transformation Fund gifts above the $5,000 level will be acknowledged on a plaque in the Wilma’s renovated lobby.

Donate to the Transformation Fund