BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Broadway star Shoshana Bean returned to her old stomping grounds Thursday night for a special cause that’s near and dear to her heart.
For the second year in a row, Bean put on a concert at her alma mater, Beaverton High School, to raise money for the school’s theater arts program.
The school district is expected to finalize next year’s budget by June.
With a $35 million shortfall and dozens of jobs on the line, fundraising events like Thursday’s concert are more important than ever in keeping the arts afloat.
Beaverton High School Principal Anne Erwin said the concert will give the school’s resources a boost.
“I think it’s also the message that it sends to educators on this campus and the students that there are people that believe in you,” Erwin said.
Bean has appeared in productions like “Hairspray,” “Wicked” and, most recently, “Waitress.”
She’s credited Beaverton High School for helping spark the flame that ignited to her wildly successful career in performing arts.
The Broadway star said not giving students the same opportunities that she had in school is “unacceptable.”
For Bean, helping keep the arts alive at her alma mater is about more than just giving kids the chance to perform — it’s about giving them an outlet and a place to belong.
“We have I think more than ever kids that struggle with anxiety and depression,” said Bean. “I think having a place to feel confident, empowered and express themselves is so important.”
Thirty district students performed at Thursday’s sold-out benefit concert. Principal Erwin said the event raised $30,000. Last year’s concert raised $23,000.