Susan has been a close friend to Storycatchers since 2010, when she attended one of our performances at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville. She recalls being impressed by our partnership with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which integrated singers and musicians into productions there. And she was profoundly affected by the young performers. “I remember the girls were singing about wanting to make their mothers proud and many of those mothers were in the audience. It was incredibly moving.”

Since then, Susan has attended dozens of our shows for all of our programs, and she often brings her friends with her. Many people have met Storycatchers because Susan introduced them to us. Among those is Barb Blumenthal, who joined the Storycatchers Board of Directors in 2013.

As a trustee for her family foundation, Susan is a thoughtful donor, giving support where it is most needed. Of Storycatchers, she says, “From the beginning, I could see that you were doing meaningful work, work that is life-changing.”

“Storycatchers is a conduit for providing positive experiences for youth,” she reflects. “I know a lot of arts organizations perform for groups who may not otherwise see their work; however, these seem like one-off moments. I think that Storycatchers goes to great lengths to create a meaningful and complete experience for the youth.” She appreciates that “Storycatchers helps youth share parts of their lives that might be hard to share, in an environment of acceptance, creativity, and support. And it’s very visceral to see the result of that work in action.”

She also welcomes the fact that the experience of supporting Storycatchers is as unique as the mission.

“I like that your events are not about status. For many organizations, a party or an event is designed to bring high-status people together to network and be the focus of the moment, but at Storycatchers, the youth are always at the center. Everything Storycatchers does is from the heart.”

Thank you, Susan, for recognizing and sharing our commitment to the young people we serve. We couldn’t do it without you.