Walden Theatre, Blue Apple Players Plan to Merge

Will Create Region’s Most Comprehensive Theatre Conservatory, Education Provider


Two respected non-profit arts organizations, Walden Theatre and Blue Apple Players, plan to merge their organizations before year’s end to become the region’s most comprehensive theatre conservatory and education provider for school children, their families and teachers.

The organizations’ boards on Monday adopted resolutions expressing their “intent to merge” and directed committees, staff and consultants to work through Spring and Summer 2014 on the details of the proposed merger.

“Our goal is to serve more children, more families, more teachers and more schools with the high quality of programming we’re known for,” said Michele Koch, chairwoman of the Walden Theatre board of directors, and Tanner Watkins, chairman of the Blue Apple Players board of directors. “Merger will allow us to maximize the financial, artistic and educational strengths of the two organizations to reach our goal.”

The two organizations each have financial strengths that make them a good fit, Koch and Watkins said. The merged organization will have a more diversified revenue stream and an annual budget approaching $1 million, which will help attract broader local and national financial support.

Walden Theatre is a cultural partner of the Fund for the Arts, and Blue Apple Players has received grants from the Fund to support education projects in schools and community centers.

While the merger will produce some efficiencies, the intent is to invest any financial savings in expansion of services, according to the two board chairs.

Walden Theatre and Blue Apple Players, two organizations born months apart in 1976, have been working closely together for nearly a decade – collaborating on productions, training, fund development and arts advocacy. Both organizations have talented staffs, strong board members, committed donors and supporters and long histories of quality programming.

“We share a proud history of developing generations of collaborative, empathetic, confident, and creative young people using the power of drama education,” Watkins and Koch said. “Together, we will honor that legacy by continuing to provide a strong foundation in arts education for generations of children to come.”

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A New Way to Give

Do you shop on Amazon.com? Well, now you can donate .5% of every purchase to Blue Apple Players at no cost to you through AmazonSmile.  AmazonSmile is a neat program where Amazon donates 0.5% of your Amazon purchases to a charity of your choosing – Blue Apple Players, of course! All you have to do is go to Smile.Amazon.com and enter Blue Apple Players in the “choose a charity” box. Amazon will then apply .5% of your purchase to Blue Apple Players. The price of your purchases doesn’t go up AND you get to donate to your favorite charity, Blue Apple Players! Click here and see just how easy it is!

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Did you see our Fall 2013 production of No More Secrets: The Musical, if so click here to take a short survey about the show and be entered to win a $50 Target gift card.

If you are a teacher and would like to fill out the teacher survey click here and be entered to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card.

Thank you! Your feedback helps us to provide a better product for our students.

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You’re Invited!

Blue apple and bourbon graphic final

Blue Apple and Bourbon is a lively fundraiser for one of the nation’s foremost education organizations. We will introduce your palate to five sumptuous distinct brands of bourbon, along with providing a history of this fine spirit.
Join us for this fun night and enjoy…

*Five Fine Bourbons To Taste*


Dinner catered by
Catering & More, LLC 

Hosted by
Leonard “Nappi” Napolitano and Kevin Borland 


Date: October 26, 2013


Time: 7 PM, Dinner at 8 PM


Location: 1564 Cherokee Road, Louisville, KY40205


Price:  $50 in advance, $60 at the door

100% of proceeds will be donated to Blue Apple Players

For 35 years Blue Apple has provided interactive programs to ignite academic and social growth in youth

To RSVP, Purchase Tickets or Make a Donation Click the “Online Donations” button on the right column.
(Be sure to put “Blue Apple and Bourbon” where the check says “purpose”)
You can also purchase tickets by email annie@blueappleplayers.org or call 502-587-7990

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No More Secrets (Child sexual abuse prevention) to reach every elementary student in 2013-14 school year!

In partnership with local schools, social service groups such as ECHO, and a range of donors, Blue Apple’s powerful and highly effective educational musical about child sexual abuse, No More Secrets will provide an effective prevention and intervention message to every elementary student (62,776 +) and over 33,000 parents, teachers, coaches, and others in Jefferson County public, parochial, and private schools (154 schools) during the 2013-2014 school year.

“Because of No More Secrets, Melissa’s abuse ended. The defendant received a 25 year sentence.” Carol H. Cobb, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney & Division Chief, Domestic Violence Unit (1987-2008) Kentucky Commission on Child Sexual Abuse

“…as a child I was really influenced by the play I seen by Blue Apple Players. I was about 5-6 years old. It had happened to me. My babysitter had molested me. I told my teacher, who told my mom. I don’t know if I ever would have told, if I had not seen that play. So, thank you for your work. I will never forget that day… and it happened over 20 years ago.”
K.C. (August 2007 unsolicited email to Blue Apple)

These are just part of the young lives healed, tragedy’s prevented by the No More Secrets program. How can we not work together to help others? In many of the disclosures following performances of No More Secrets, children had been victims for as many as 5 years or more. Your support makes a difference. 

No More Secrets was developed by Blue Apple Players in 1984 at the request of, and with a grant from the Jefferson Co. Judge Executive’s Office. Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO), along with additional professional experts in child safety, served as technical advisers to ensure that the most effective prevention and intervention messages were communicated. It has since been performed worldwide, including Ramstein Army Base in Germany (2010). No More Secrets was last offered by Blue Apple in Fall 2007 when it secured funding from Metro Louisville, foundations, and individuals for performances in 36 Louisville area schools and reached over 28,980 students, teachers, counselors, parents and other adults.

Although we typically find sponsorship for up to 60 or 70 performances a year there is always a long waiting list of schools that want this program and need your help.  I am writing to ask you to help us fill this gap as we pull together a broad coalition of support.   Please consider sponsoring a school or a group of schools at the cost of $1,870 per performance – a life saving investment of less than $3 a person. Of course, a gift of any amount will help us reach more children and meet a $30,000 challenge grant. To donate online, click the “Online Donations” button in the right column or you can mail your donation to P.O. Box 4261, Louisville, KY 40204. Thank you!

For questions about this or any of our other programs contact Paul Lenzi, Executive Director, Blue Apple Players. paul@blueappleplayers.org (502) 587-7990


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