Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Shane.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was volunteering for an organization called Changing Perceptions which gave an opportunity to visually impaired individuals to share their stories. However, soon after I started volunteering, the head of the program had a sudden death. I felt that the work that was being done was too important to let slip away and I saw a vision of using theater as an empowerment tool and a means to gain independence. Ten years ago, I co-founded CRE Outreach with the intention of providing the performing arts to underserved populations. We currently serve 2,700 individuals in the Los Angeles area of all disabilities, military veterans and underserved youth. Recently, with an outpouring of support, we have built our own theater to serve as a home for all the artwork we do. The theater is called The Blue Door and we have our grand opening this Friday, April 13th of a production titled “Lost In The Light” featuring 15 actors who are blind and musicians of all disabilities.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle with the communities we serve is transportation to and from rehearsals. Transportation is so unreliable when using Access taxi. However, we pay for all transportation so the performers don’t need to worry about the transportation cost. Another challenge for the visually impaired community is the need to learn and memorize the space. There are also financial challenges that exist with being able to maintain the amount of programing that CRE Outreach provides.
Please tell us about CRE Outreach.
I’m the artistic director so I oversee anything that relates to the presentation of the work or the programs. I’m also a director of Theatre by the Blind and VET Empowerment Theater. I wake up every morning excited to be a part of an organization that truly changes lives. What sets us apart is we are the only blind theatre company in the USA and the work we do is original and comes from the voice of the participants.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood is the look on my brother’s face when I walked off the stage at the Olympics of Magic in Dresden Germany. He looked so proud and gave me the biggest hug.
- Address: 9617 Venice Blvd. Culver City 90232
- Website: www.creoutreach.org
- Phone: (310) 902-8220
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cre_outreach/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creoutreach/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/creoutreach
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-blue-door-culver-city
Theatre by the Blind, Veteran Empowerment Theatre, Creative Youth Theater