Egyptian Theatre Has Reached the GuideStar Gold Level Profile as a Demonstration of Its Commitment to Transparency

Preservation of Egyptian Theatre, Inc. the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that owns and operates the historic Egyptian Theatre today achieved the Gold GuideStar Nonprofit Profile level. GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information about nonprofit organizations and a leader in advancing transparency in the nonprofit sector. This level demonstrates P.E.T.’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

“We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, to our constituents,” said Alex Nerad, Executive Director. “As a GuideStar Gold participant, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and to GuideStar’s immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors, and the media.”

Less than 1 percent of the nation’s 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations are GuideStar Gold participants.


About GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles

The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. GuideStar invites nonprofits to update their profiles at no cost to the organizations. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with the millions of people who visit GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations and the more than 120 sites and applications that use GuideStar data. To earn a logo, an organization needs to complete all required fields for that participation level. The GuideStar logos, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all updated participants’ profiles in the GuideStar database.

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Backstage at the Egyptian: Jazz at the Egyptian

The Egyptian Theatre is proud to present “Jazz at the Egyptian” on Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 PM featuring performances by the DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble, the Sycamore High School Jazz Ensemble, and the NIU Jazz Orchestra.  Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind concert featuring performances by the area Jazz ensembles.  Proceeds from the event will support the individual music programs.

Interview conducted by: Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern

This is a picture of the DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Steve Lundin who will be performing on February 26th live at the The Egyptian Theatre.

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about performing at the Egyptian Theatre?

Steve: We are looking forward to sharing the stage with NIU and Sycamore. Getting all three bands at the same place at the same time is very exciting.

Kevin: What do you hope the students will gain from this experience?

Steve: I’m sure the students will find the experience really motivating. I know learning first hand from others is always one of the most powerful things you can do in education.

This is a picture of the NIU Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Reggie Thomas who will be performing live at The Egyptian Theatre on February 26th.

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about performing at the Egyptian Theatre?

Reggie:  We are excited to present at the Egyptian with DeKalb and Sycamore high schools. We are constantly looking for opportunities to interact with the area school programs and bring quality programming to the DeKalb community.

Kevin: What do you hope the students will gain from this experience?

Reggie: I often stress the importance of mentorship to our students. Events like this allow them to have an impact on the lives of young aspiring musicians with the high school students playing along side our college students. The students from all three ensembles will benefit from seeing the camaraderie between me, Mr Lundin and Mr Mertens. We all try to stress the importance of the arts in our students’ lives.

This is a picture of the Sycamore High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Scott Mertens who will be performing live at the Egyptian Theatre on February 26th.

DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble

The DeKalb High School Jazz Ensemble is one of many music offerings at DeKalb High School.  The band department is comprised of two concert bands, a marching band, a percussion ensemble, jazz lab band, and steelband. There are also seven different choirs and two orchestras.

The DHS Jazz Ensemble regularly performs music that encompasses a wide range of styles at venues throughout Northern Illinois. The curriculum stresses the importance of learning stylistic accuracy as a foundational component of jazz education. The band regularly competes in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band competition and has appeared as a finalist in 2008 and 2012. The band performed at the Illinois All State Music Education Conference in 2005 and 2015.

DHS shares its hometown with the Northern Illinois University School of Music.  The bond between the schools has provided DHS students the opportunity to work with many extraordinary jazz artists and educators including: Ron Carter, Reggie Thomas, Rufus Reid, Lewis Nash, Tom Garling, Rodrigo Villanueva, Ernie Watts, Geoff Bradfield, Larry Brown, Bryan Carter, Doug Stone and Tim Warfield.

NIU Jazz Orchestra

 With a roster that includes students from Miami to Milwaukee, the NIU Jazz Orchestra (formerly, Jazz Ensemble) has long been considered one of the best college jazz bands in the world.

The ensemble has performed at the 54th annual Midwest Music Clinic in Chicago with saxophonist Jimmy Heath as the guest artist, and at the 28th annual International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) Conference in New York with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis as the guest artist.

During the summer of 2001 the band performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, at the Jazz à Vienne Festival in France and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

The list of guest artists with whom the ensemble has performed includes Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Tito Puente and James Moody, just to name a few.

In the summer of 1996 the NIU Jazz Orchestra performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland as Quincy Jones’s big band with guest artists Phil Collins, Patti Austin, David Sanborn, Gerald Albright, Chaka Kahn, Toots Theilman and James Morrison.

Now under the direction of Reggie Thomas, the NIU Jazz Orchestra continues the tradition of excellence while forging a new identity featuring original faculty and student work, focusing on diversity and swing, and exploring a wide range of colors, textures and larger extended works.


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Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Paul Kassel

Interview Conducted by Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern

Paul Kassel is the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University. I had a chance to interview Paul about the upcoming inaugural Winter Convocation of the College of Visual and Performing Arts here at the Egyptian Theatre. This is one of many special events held here at the Egyptian Theatre every year.

Kevin: Tell me a little bit about this event?

Paul: This is the first ever convocation for the entire College.  See invitation below.

Kevin: This is a first time event, where did the idea for this come from?

Paul: The idea originated when I learned that this sort of thing had never been done before.  In my previous institution this had been a regular practice at the beginning of each academic year.  But the Schools here are very busy in the fall, so we found a date in February when things are a bit quieter and everyone might need a lift.

Kevin: Why was it important for you to host this event at the Egyptian Theatre?

Paul: Part of my vision for CVPA includes ENGAGEMENT.  I want the work of our students and faculty engaged with the broader community.  By holding the convocation at the Egyptian, we signal to everyone that our work is also the work of the entire region.  Our motto is Art for Everyone and Everyone for the Arts!

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about this event?

Paul: I couldn’t pick one thing–the student art exhibits, the musical performances, dance, theater, and of course our special keynote speaker, Aaron Dworkin.  I’m most looking forward to the entire thing–it’s never been done and I’m eager to see how it all goes.

Kevin: What do you hope the students, facility, and staff walk away with after this event?

Paul: That we are all in this together.  As artists, scholars, teachers, students, staff, patrons, family and friends–art is a game that when well played, everybody wins.  I want theatre students who’ve never been to the museum to become regular visitors.  I want visual artists to go to plays.  I want musicians to see a dance, dancers to hear a jazz concert.  We are a community and together we are stronger, more resilient, and our artistry is greatly enriched.

Kevin: The arts community on campus has a long history of involvement with the Egyptian Theatre, why do you feel the community involvement is important for both NIU and the Theatre?

Paul: Without an audience, art doesn’t exist–or at least, it cannot reach its full potential.  My goal has always been to help things become their full selves.  A community cannot become its full self without a strong relationship to the arts and learning. We have all the pieces here in DeKalb–CVPA, NIU, a thriving community– and the Egyptian is at the epi-center!

NIU School of Music website
NIU School of Art website
NIU School of Theatre and Dance website

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Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Ryan Asher

Interview Conducted by: Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern

Ryan Asher is a performer with the touring group The Second City who will be performing at the Egyptian Theatre on Friday, February 10th at 8:00 PM. I had the opportunity to interview Ryan this week about her upcoming show.

Kevin: How long has the group The Second City been performing?

Ryan: The group has been touring for a while, for me specifically I’ve been with this group since September of last year.

Kevin: So Ryan, why did you join The Second City?

Ryan: Well I went to school in Virginia, and I went there for theater. I quickly learned I am way more funny than dramatic so it was a good fit I guess. I moved to Chicago after college when the producer of the show found me. I got offered the position and now I’m happily a member.

Kevin: Who has influenced you the most in your life as a performer?

Ryan: Melissa McCarthy has by far been my biggest inspiration. I love everything she has ever done. Her recent SNL skit for instance shows just how amazing of a performer she actually is. She is genuine and full of love. I hope I can be just like her one day. Also Whoopi Goldberg’s solo shows inspire me. She is absolutely brilliant, and her work really does inspire me and my work. My favorite male comedian would be Steve Martin. He is just so goofy and I personally believe he is one of the funniest human beings on the planet.

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about performing at the Egyptian Theatre?

Ryan: Well first off, the name sounds super cool. I feel like the theatre is in a giant pyramid, I know it’s not, but that would be so cool if it was. I love to meet new and wonderful people whether it’s the workers or the audience. I feel it will be an experience I will not soon forget.

Kevin: What do you hope the audience will walk away with after the show?

Ryan: First off, I hope they laugh a lot and like it. I want them to remember us, and go home still laughing from things they saw in the show. There are 4 women and 2 men in the group. My biggest hope is that the audience will leave the show thinking wow they were funny comedians. Not, wow they were funny guy and girl comedians. That is super important to me that they remember me as comedian, an equal. Not a comedian with a female attached to it.

Tickets are still available, Purchase tickets by clicking the link below.

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Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Kerry Devine

Interview Conducted by: Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern

Kerry Devine is the lead singer for LAVA Rock who will be performing their greatest hits show “Legends of Rock” at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, February 4th at 7:30 PM. I had the opportunity to interview Kerry this week about his upcoming show.

Kevin: How long have you been performing?

Kerry: I have been a paid performer since 2004 when I was 36 with a small rock band from St. Louis. I am 49 years old now, but still rocking as hard as I did then.

Kevin: When and why did you become an artist?

Kerry: It is one of those things where I didn’t choose, it’s who I am as an individual. The honest truth is I can’t help it. One of my favorite quotes is from David Lee Roth. He said, “I’m not this way because I’m in a band. I’m in a band because I’m this way.”

Kevin: How have the bands whose songs you chose to sing influence you as a performer?

Kerry: This is a tribute show to those bands. I feel it is my duty to emulate them. These bands have helped shaped the performer I am today. I enjoy every single one of them. I consider myself when I’m emulating them, like an actor playing a part. Like Jamie Fox when he played Ray Charles. I grew up on Rock and Roll. It has shaped my attitude. My favorite band would be Van Halen because they are kind of the ones who started it all. “Running with the Devil” will always be one of my all-time Van Halen songs.

Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about performing at the historic Egyptian Theatre?

Kerry: I am looking forward to the fact that this will be my first time performing at the Egyptian Theatre. I’ve known about the theatre for a long time. It will be a good experience performing in front of a newer yet familiar crowd. There is definitely a built in audience, but I hope to reach a newer one with this performance.

Kevin: What other shows have you been a part of?

Kerry: I have performed shows at places like the Dixon Theater, and the Majestic Theater in Kankakee. Also earlier on in my career at festivals and casinos.

Kevin: What do you hope the audience will walk away with after the show?

Kerry: Well first off, for sure smiles on their face. I want them to have a strong experience that they will not forget. Some people come up to me after the shows and tell me very personal, sometimes sad stories, and that my performance helped them forget about it for a little while. That right there is something special.

Tickets are still available. Click the link below to purchase tickets.

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