Gleeks and Young Storytellers unite for public education
In 2011, the Glee fandom united for an unprecedented attempt to go behind the scenes of its favorite show. The Box Scene Project arose from the third-season episode "Extraordinary Merry Christmas," in which couple Kurt and Blaine are part of a gift exchange featuring a tantalizing box.
When the scene was cut, fans banded together to find out what was in the box, launching a successful fundraiser to purchase the actual shooting script of the ep for the entire Glee fandom. The project was so popular that the creators of the Box Scene Project decided to put all that energy for good use. In the year since, they've raised thousands of dollars for charity and garnered participation from members of the Glee cast and crew.
Now they're teaming up with the Young Storytellers Foundation (YSF) to purchase an additional script for one of the fandom's favorite episodes, raising money for public education in the process.
The Young Storytellers Foundation is a Los Angeles–based nonprofit organization, a charity cofounded by Glee cocreator Brad Falchuk, which works to develop literacy within the public school system. The Script to Stage program allows students to see their own works performed on stage by professional Hollywood actors.
After a Script to Stage performance by the Glee cast, a fan told the nonprofit about the Box Scene Project, and the YSF agreed to provide a special, autographed script of the third-season episode "The First Time" to be auctioned off to the Glee fandom. The money goes to the YSF; the joy of knowing what didn't make it into the final cut of the episode goes to the fandom.
Heather Kirkpatrick, cofounder and president of the Box Scene Project, tells the Dot that the "First Time" script is hugely important to fans. "We want to know, is there anything else missing from this script that has two powerful Glee couples losing their virginity." She also adds that the representation of a gay couple, Kurt and Blaine (affectionately known as Klaine), makes the episode significant, because "[e]ach person, whether straight or gay, [has] a journey to their first time."
The Box Scene Project deems the collaboration "a first in fan and show collaboration." It's certainly not the first time the project has partnered with charities, including the Harry Potter Alliance, but it may be the first time there's been this much excitement from both sides. From a press release:
"Since we began in May, we’ve held five fundraisers for charities and won seven Glee scripts,” explains Tamila Gresham, cofounder and Executive Director of the Box Scene Project. “But the response to 'The First Time' has been incredible. We’re hoping we can raise a lot of money for YSF. The work they do is so inspiring.”
From January 10 to 24, fans and collectors can donate $25 for a digital copy of the script, or donate to win one of the two autographed copies the YSF is providing.
"YSF recognizes that Gleeks, especially Klainers, are a powerful group and to be able to harness the collective power to raise money for their charity is a win-win for both YSF and Gleeks," Kirkpatrick says. "YSF is the benefactor of the money raised and Gleeks get the script we so badly want."
Charity fundraising in fandom is nothing new, but this exchange scenario is interesting. Could this be the next wave of nonprofit fundraising? With seven scripts bought and multiple partnerships with charities and other fan organizations, the Box Scene Project might just be a whole new kind of community bake sale.
Illustration by usaginoyume / DeviantArt