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American Shakespeare Center partners with nonprofit to share words of healing

Rebecca Barnabi
Courtesy of American Shakespeare Center.

A local nonprofit known for powerful words is now sharing words of healing for another local nonprofit.

The American Shakespeare Center welcomes an inaugural partnership with Valley Children’s Advocacy Center (VCAC) to take center stage as part of the highly anticipated 2024 Spring Season.

Throughout February 2024, when patrons attend performances of “Pride & Prejudice” and “Julius Caesar” at the Blackfriars Playhouse, they will be invited to join ASC in a heartfelt initiative: writing notes of encouragement and empowerment for survivors of child sexual abuse.

“ASC’s history of transformative language on stage goes beyond performances, and this collaboration exemplifies our dedication to uplifting organizations making a positive impact in our community,” Stephanie Cabacoy, Director of Marketing and Interim Director of Development for the American Shakespeare Center. “Shakespeare’s timeless expressions of resilience and hope align perfectly with our mission, allowing literature to serve as a catalyst for healing and connection.”

In the spirit of love and community, ASC encourages its audiences to contribute notes filled with messages of love, power, and healing for the children served by Valley CAC. The initiative is a testament to ASC’s commitment to extending the impact of transformative language beyond the stage and into the community, supporting non-profit organizations like Valley CAC that play a crucial role in enhancing the well-being of survivors.

The Valley CAC faces unprecedented funding cuts from Virginia. The organization serves as a beacon of hope for survivors of child sexual abuse for 20 years and families in a 3,000-square-mile radius. ASC, recognizing the crucial role of Valley CAC in the community, encourages its audiences to share love and support for the organization during this challenging time.

“Many times the children and families that come through our doors are experiencing unthinkable tragedies that often leave them feeling isolated and hopeless in their time of crisis. These notes of encouragement are a powerful way our community can show our survivors that they are supported and valued. The way a child’s eye sparkles just from reading a note from a stranger truly shows the healing power of words and connection,” Charlé Johnson, Associate Director for Valley CAC, said.

The initiative harnesses the therapeutic impact of expressive writing, demonstrating the belief in the transformative power of words. ASC invites the community to join in creating a wave of positive change through the art of language. Valley CAC will have a table set up for every show for audiences to write letters. All letters collected throughout February will be delivered to survivors and their families.

Tickets may be purchased online, or by calling 1.877.MUCH.ADO (1-877-682-4236). The American Shakespeare Center is at 10 S. Market Street, Staunton.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.