First Stage
Press Release

First Stage to take Part in Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Miracle on Canal Street as a 2014 Signature Charity

Funds raised by casino to be used for First Stage Theater Academy Scholarships, Literacy Residency programs and in-classroom arts integrated lessons.

By - Aug 5th, 2014 01:00 pm

Milwaukee, WI (August 5, 2014) – Approximately 7,000 students will gain access to exceptional theater programs at First Stage thanks to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s annual Miracle on Canal Street program.  This funding will support the First Stage Community Partnership Program (CPP), an investment in the education and leadership development of economically disadvantaged young people throughout the Milwaukee area.

The Community Partnership Program consists of scholarships for Theater Academy classes;  theater performances, in-school drama and arts-integrated experiences for Milwaukee schools; and a robust Literacy Residency Program designed to develop critical literacy skills and improve state standardized test scores.

Miracle on Canal Street serves as Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s signature community program.  Its mission is to improve the quality of life for children in southeastern Wisconsin.  Through funds raised primarily through special bingo games and the generosity of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino guests, the program focuses the joy of holiday giving onto those who are the hope for the future.

“We are so grateful for our partners at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and for the funds we have received through their Miracle on Canal Street program in the past!” said First Stage Managing Director Betsy Corry.  “This support goes directly to helping our students in Theater Academy, who come from all over the region, to learn ‘life skills through stage skills.’  It is with this type of generous support that First Stage has never had to turn a child away due to financial need.”

This year 30 local children’s charities will participate in the 2014 program with 10 being signature charities chosen by media partners.  First Stage was chosen by the Milwaukee Business Journal.  The remaining 20 charities will be chosen at random on Thursday, Nov. 6, and the announcement of the grand total will take place Friday, Dec. 12.

Since its inception in 1994, Miracle on Canal Street has made more than 500 donations totaling more than $13.6 million to fund children’s programs throughout southeastern Wisconsin.  Miracle on Canal Street celebrated its 20-year anniversary last year by awarding 152 children’s charities in southeastern Wisconsin a share of funds totaling more than $1 million.  Miracle funding in 2013 helped support a wide variety of charity projects such as providing meals to low income children and their families, designing dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses and maintaining educational music programs that expose young people to the arts.

About First Stage
Since 1987, First Stage touches hearts, engages minds, and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and families through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain; unparalleled Theater Academy training that fosters life skills through stage skills; and dynamic Theater in Education programs that promote active learning in our schools and community.  In 2012, First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Theatre Wisconsin, and Milwaukee Arts Partners, and is a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).  Learn more about First Stage visit

About Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

Set in the heart of Milwaukee, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is Wisconsin’s premier entertainment destination, offering guests the best in gaming, dining and entertainment.  The property features a luxurious 381-room hotel, seven award-winning restaurants, the intimate 500-seat Northern Lights Theater and more than 60,000 square feet of event space.  Potawatomi Bingo Casino is committed to raising awareness of the risks of problem gambling, maintaining a level of first-class customer service, while investing in its most valuable asset—its 2,700 multicultural employees.  Through the Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation and Miracle on Canal Street, the casino supports numerous local charities and community organizations.  To discover more, call 800-PAYS-BIG or visit

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