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Philstage Expounds on ‘Institutional Partnership’ With Office of the First Lady

Philstage Expounds on ‘Institutional Partnership’ With Office of the First Lady

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Last June 11, 2023, Philstage released a statement to expound on its institutional partnership with the Office of the First Lady.

The statement reads:

PHILSTAGE, along with other NGOs, was invited by the Office of the First Lady as one of the potential recipients of donations and grants from private donors or international organizations. Audie Gemora (President) and Toff de Venecia (Vice President) of PHILSTAGE, met with the said office, to discuss the matter.

PHILSTAGE is an NGO made up of professional live theater companies, an institution united by its pursuit of growing and professionalizing the performing arts industry.

When PHILSTAGE member companies were asked their opinion on the potential funding last May, a collective decision was reached based on the following details:

1. The funds are from private donors, foundations, and international agencies. If granted, the interaction shall only be between donor and respective partner NGO.

2. Any funding from the donors shall be utilized by PHILSTAGE strictly for PUBLIC POLICY BUILDING aimed to jumpstart efforts such as:

(1) Policy Reform:
(a) lobbying for Amusement Tax Reforms
(b) incentivizing private sector support for the performing arts
(2) Market Research and Audience Development
(3) Development of Standards for Professionalism –  and the like.

3. The results of these efforts can be accessed by PHILSTAGE members and the general public, online. Any funding or grants shall be transparent in execution, self-auditing, and reporting of initiatives.

4. The funding shall not be used for the collective member events of PHILSTAGE (e.g. Gawad Buhay) nor shall it go directly to any member company for funding stage productions.

5. There are no caveats, endorsements, or conditions that would infringe on the freedom and autonomy of PHILSTAGE most especially any of its individual members.

The vision of PHILSTAGE is to have a professional and sustainable industry. It remains committed to safeguarding the creative freedom and integrity of each of its member companies, as much as seeing the performing arts industry flourish and become more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable through policies and development programs towards a national performing arts industry. We will remain vigilant against any encroachments to our freedom of expression. We also intend to strengthen our commitment to create theater that will convey hope and celebrate the energy and vitality that can only emerge when the creative spaces are not beholden to power and the artists are governed by their creative conscience.

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