Nearly 50,000 Washington-area children annually experience live educational performances at Smithsonian Associates' Discovery Theater. A full season of shows at our home in the Ripley Center on the National Mall brings to life cultures from around the world, science, history, folklore, the arts, and much more for students from pre-K through elementary school. In addition, Discovery Theater brings touring performances and classroom-education programs directly into the District’s public schools. Those shows and educational outreach activities have now been suspended during the Smithsonian’s temporary closure (due to COVID-19). 21 performances at Discovery Theater have been canceled. Two public-school tours of original Discovery Theater shows will no longer take place. A pre-K educational residency for D.C. Public Schools has been cut short. And we’ve begun to receive cancellations from school groups for reservations for performances later this spring. That adds up to a big impact on the young audiences we serve -- and on the livelihood of Discovery Theater’s resident professional actors. This group of 20 dedicated local teaching artists -- all specially trained in educational theater -- are facing a loss of income while the theater is dark. Unlike the Smithsonian’s museums, Smithsonian Associates receives no federal funding. Its public educational and cultural programming, including Discovery Theater, relies on ticket sales, donations, and membership income for its operations. That’s why we’d like you to consider making a donation through Goldstar to help support our work. Perhaps a child in your life has recently been part of our audience. Maybe experiencing a Discovery Theater show is among your own memories. Or you may simply value how the performing arts can enhance learning for every child. Your generosity will make a difference in helping us return to rehearsals as soon as it becomes possible and for our amazing team of teaching artists to resume their roles on our stage at Discovery Theater and in our local public schools.