Swampscott Patrons of Performing Students (POPS) is a nonprofit organization that supports performing arts at Swampscott Public Schools through advocacy, fundraising, coordination of volunteers, & hands-on help.
A small group of parents founded POPS in the spring of 2004, and membership has grown to more than forty dues-paying members. In its first year alone, POPS helped support performing arts in Swampscott schools by advocating for arts courses; using raised funds to help purchase risers for the middle school; coordinated volunteers for a wide variety of events; sold advertisements; created programs for events; generated publicity for all performing-arts events, and initiated a "Seniors in the Performing Arts" feature in the Swampscott Reporter.
During the 2005-06 school year, POPS purchased a collapsible podium for the marching band director; sheet music for high school and middle school choruses; and a new sound system to be shared between the schools. In addition, POPS purchased fabric for new dresses for high school chorus women, and one of our members created the dresses. POPS purchased the raw materials and has asked only for partial reimbursement.
During the 2006-07 school year, we initiated the "Save Me a Seat" campaign, to enlist sponsors for seats in the 850-seat theater being built in the new high school. Working with the school building committee, we are trying to ensure that the new theater is built according to the architect's original plans. In addition, POPS offered financial as well as hands-on support for both the SMS and SHS musicals, for choral and band concenrts, and for the annual three-high-school "Together in Harmony" concert.
We are very proud to be able to offer four scholarships, one each for a graduating senior in band, chorus, drama, and piano. Advocacy efforts are ongoing, as are efforts to provide logistical and hands-on help, to coordinate volunteers, and to plan fundraising and other special events.
In May 2006, we threw our first annual spring benefit, "Backstage Pass," which brought over 100 guests into the SHS Library for an evening of pre-musical refreshments and entertainment. We honored Jim Pearse for his ten years in Swampscott, and he provided the entertainment for the event by singing selected songs from musicals produced during his tenure. The second annual Backstage Pass in May 2007 showcased the Little Theater, as the SRO performances of Cabaret were the last shows to be presented there by the SHS Drama Club. Given people's support for Save Me a Seat, we elected to make this second Backstage Pass celebration a free event.
POPS members meet regularly, usually bimonthly. Members do not need to attend meetings, but are invited to do so. (You needn't be a member to volunteer, help or support.) To join POPS, print out the membership form and mail it in, or email us for further information. POPS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization; dues and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.