A message from Managing Director, Dr. Cole Matson
Dear Friends of Open Window,
This month marks my one-year anniversary of moving to the great state of Minnesota to begin working with Open Window Theatre. It has been an adventurous year! I have greatly enjoyed working with Jeremy and Sarah Stanbary, Erica L.P. Hernandez, Nate Farley, Joy Donley, and all of our cast, crew, and volunteers. The Open Window family is generous, welcoming, and the best kind of “Minnesota nice.”
From taking in my first State Fair, to helping build a new theatre, to watching our musicians and actors rehearse for the Christmas concerts and The World Over, to welcoming you all to opening night in the new theatre and hearing all your stories about how overjoyed you were at Open Window’s return – it has been a year to remember fondly! Even with the temporary closure after only one month due to COVID-19, I have been inspired by how Open Window patrons have stepped up to ensure the theatre’s survival and to care for Open Window staff and their families.
Therefore, it is with both sadness and joy that I announce that I will be leaving Open Window at the end of the month in order to enter religious life.
For the past several years, I have been discerning the foundation of a new religious community dedicated to ministry through the arts and to artists. This spring, a priest friend connected me to a bishop who has agreed to support the first steps of founding such a community in his diocese. He and I agreed that I would visit a number of religious communities to see who might be able to provide initial formation for myself and those who may join me. I have been invited to visit three communities so far to discuss doing a “founder’s novitiate” with them, and will be spending the next few months making these visits. Once the final community is selected, I expect to enter that community for a year or more of religious formation, after which I and anyone joining me will set up a house in the new diocese for use as an artist colony and retreat center.
It would be wonderful to be able to continue to work with the Open Window team, whom I quickly came to love, but now is the time to commit myself to a full-time period of religious formation, which sadly requires taking leave of one’s career and colleagues for a time.
Thankfully, the timing is providential: not having to support two full-time employees allows Open Window to tighten its belt even further, thereby extending the period of time that Open Window can operate without additional assistance. In other good news, we received approval of our Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the Small Business Administration last week, which will allow us to launch Season 7 with a little bit of funding to spare. Therefore, we head into our Survival Season on a stronger financial footing than we could have expected two months ago. We are deeply grateful to our supporters who got us here.
I thank Jeremy and the Open Window Board of Directors for allowing me to serve the mission of redemptive theatre over the past year, and I pray for the continued growth and success of Open Window. Thank you all for your kind hospitality and your toil in the trenches alongside us. Theatre is a team sport, and you are an unusually supportive team. Jeremy will need some additional volunteer help over the coming year, so I hope that, if you are able, you will consider volunteering for the positions described below or connect Jeremy with people you recommend.
Blessings on you all and on Open Window Theatre, and please pray for Jeremy and me as well.
Cole Matson, Ph.D
Click the links below to view or download the job descriptions…