By Zoë Bartlett, Administrative Assistant


Allison Thompson, Director of Individual Giving

We would like to welcome Allison Thompson, our new Director of Individual Giving! While she entered the scene in the hectic beginning stages of our 2016 Fall Campaign, Allison quickly invested in the mission of the Workshop.

In this newsletter, Allison discusses how she came to the Workshop, what her experience has been like, and what she envisions for the Workshop.

What brought you to the Workshop?

I was very fortunate that the public school district I grew up in was very committed to the performing arts, and I learned so much about leadership, teamwork, self-discipline, and self-expression through my time as a pianist, flautist, drum major, and Queen Band Geek in high school. When I decided to formally pursue a career in the performing arts, my goal was always to make sure that kids have access to arts education in school so they too have the potential to discover a passion in life, or at the very least learn skills that will help them to be successful in the workplace and beyond. I never dreamed I would find myself at such a warrior of an organization as the Workshop, one that is more passionate and protective of all the same things I am, and I couldn’t be more honored to be to a part of the family.

What has been your most memorable moment working on the Fall Campaign?

The Fall Campaign has been my first glimpse into the community of the Workshop. From new major donors setting the stage for a successful campaign, to so many who have been steadily and continuously giving for more than twenty years, to donors who hadn’t given in years and gave a gift again, to our Board who has set higher goals for their own personal fundraising around the campaign, I have been beyond impressed and inspired by the commitment of the Workshop family. And also slightly intimidated! But I can’t wait to meet everyone in our community and hear everyone’s stories.

The Workshop has been working with students in the Bay Area for over 50 years and has a rich history of youth empowerment, social justice, and community building. What are your hopes and aspirations for the Workshop’s next 50 years?

That’s a tough question when I’ve only been here six weeks! I’m quickly learning that because the work we do is in schools, largely behind-the-scenes, and without a performance product like a ballet or play for people to engage with, our visibility to the general Bay Area community is rather low. One of my hopes for the next 50 years is that when someone says ‘The Workshop’ in casual conversation, just as they might ‘the symphony’ or ‘the opera’, everyone in that conversation already knows who we are and what we do, without question. And if I’m really dreaming big, has already made a $5000 gift that year!