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Flat Rock Playhouse to partner with Safelight, Hope and Healing for Families

Flat Rock Playhouse announced today a new partnership with Safelight, Hope & Healing for Families, whereby the local non-profit agency that provides support for victims of interpersonal violence, sexual assault and child abuse, will manage the dining hall and all of the concessions for both the mainstage and Playhouse Downtown. During the “high season” at Flat Rock Playhouse, the dining hall provides food for 24 Apprentices and 8 Interns working at the Playhouse. Three meals a day, six days a week are provided at no cost to those participating in the Flat Rock Playhouse Apprentice and Internship programs. Professional actors and Playhouse staff will also be able to dine in the dining hall, should they choose to elect for a meal plan or punch card program.

Safelight runs one of the largest shelters in Western North Carolina for abused women, men and their children. Services are free and available to victims of interpersonal violence in shelter and outreach (non-shelter). It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over time, Safelight has evolved from a strictly crisis-driven agency to one striving to develop longer-term services addressing community needs such as low-income housing and the availability of medical, mental health and substance abuse resources. They have also created job training programs for their residents and non-residents in The Safelight Resale Shop (formerly The Purple Ribbon) and Dandelion Eatery.

Dandelion, a local eatery in downtown Hendersonville, opened in 2013 and is exclusively staffed by women making a new start for themselves. While working at Dandelion, these interns are trained to re-enter the workforce by either working front or back of house. Dandelion has also been praised for their use of locally sourced fresh produce and baked goods. This partnership with Flat Rock Playhouse, overseen by Dandelion chef Anna Masteller, will be similar in terms of staffing and quality.

“We couldn’t be more excited or proud to partner with Safelight,” says Flat Rock Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant. “Their dedication to the community is exemplary, and their successes on behalf of the families they attend inspire.  That we have the opportunity to help expand their mission and good works at any level is, frankly, an honor.  Dually, the quality of their products will exponentially enhance our patron’s experience when visiting the Playhouse, while the cultural impact it will have on our artists as they relish delicious meals together is sure to be significant.”

“Safelight is thrilled to partner with Flat Rock Playhouse to provide concessions for their theatre productions and summer programs through Dandelion Eatery, our job training restaurant,” says Safelight Executive Director Tanya Blackford. “At Dandelion, interns learn the job skills they need to secure stable employment and provide financial security for themselves and their families. This opportunity with Flat Rock Playhouse means we will be able to expand the Dandelion internships we offer to even more survivors of violence or trauma.”

In addition to running the dining hall for Flat Rock Playhouse, Safelight will be managing the concession stands at both venues, providing delicious baked goods and treats to attending patrons.
“This partnership is one of the most exciting things to come together in my two years at the Playhouse,” says Flat Rock Playhouse Director of Development Ashley Pirsig. “Our patrons are going to be blown away by the delicious and creative concession stand offerings including signature cocktails, organic air-popped popcorn, even hot offerings like grits bowls and flat breads.”

The concessions partnership with Safelight will take effect with the opening of Million Dollar Quartet at the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage on April 28th and run through the closing of A Celtic Christmas in December at the Playhouse Downtown.


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