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Meet Mackenzie: the force behind the gala!

When you hear the word arts, what’s the next word that pops to mind?

The younger me may have said, “Crafts”; but the older me says, “Funding!” For any arts organization to stay afloat, it needs adequate funding through multiple revenue sources, from ticket sales to donations. Key to Park Square Theatre’s fundraising efforts is Annual Fund Manager Mackenzie Pitterle, a self-professed lifelong “theatre nerd” who came aboard last December and is spearheading the upcoming Shakespeare Soiree: the Streets of Verona, named for the education production of Romeo and Juliet, currently on stage. But as with all who have ever landed at Park Square Theatre, Mackenzie’s journey here had actually started long ago.

Mackenzie Pitterle at her desk
(Photo by T. T. Cheng)

Mackenzie grew up in Verona (no connection to the Montagues and Capulets), a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin, in a family and school community that valued the arts. She herself plays the horn and performed in school bands and pit orchestras for musicals, but she eventually to realize that her passion for the arts lay in supporting rather than producing art. This led her to pursue a degree in Arts Management at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she paid her way through college with no loans and finished in three years with honors.

With a specific interest in learning how to manage nonprofit arts organizations, Mackenzie acquired internships with an orchestra, a theatre and the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA), which lead to a position as the Development and Marketing Associate for the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.

“My job included getting up at 4 am to set up the route for a fun run and anything else to keep music in our schools,” Mackenzie said. “I loved helping to raise money to pay for that.”

Eventually Mackenzie was ready for change and a new challenge, setting her sights for a move to Minnesota after having lived in Wisconsin all her life (yes, she’s a diehard Packers fan) which brought her to Park Square!

“Over a year into my position, I can’t imagine a better fit for me. Being onsite at Park Square, I get to be immersed in theatre. I witness school group visits; I get to see each play. I got so excited about Hamlet after sitting in on the first rehearsal. That immersion keeps me grounded in what we’re doing.

I also truly enjoy getting to know donors, patrons, staff and volunteers and learning about what they love about Park Square Theatre. My job isn’t just all paperwork; I get to meet with people and hear stories about what’s important to them and how we impact them on such a deep level.”

Mackenzie revels in how she is, in her words, “impactfully utilized” and must keep “wearing different hats” to adjust to the different needs of each day. She loves that she gets to be in the room to discuss campaigns and big changes as well as learn how decisions affect every department. Currently, Mackenzie is hard at work organizing Park Square’s annual benefit gala, Shakespeare Soirée: The Streets of Verona, coming up on April 30. “We have incredible team of volunteers, committee members, interns and artists all working together to make this best party Park Square has ever thrown. It’s a night you won’t want to miss.”

At Park Square Theatre, words such as commitmententhusiasm and possibility bring to mind several people. One of them is definitely our very own Annual Fund Manager, Mackenzie Pitterle.

Ting Ting Cheng, Blog Author, Park Square Theatre
Ting Ting Cheng

Ting Ting Cheng joined Park Square Theatre's Front of House staff in 2014. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Los Angeles, she became a Minnesotan after graduating from Carleton College with a B.A. in English Literature. She loves live theatre and has a passion for writing.

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