Performing Arts for the Whole Family
Written BY LAURA LARSON
Pictured above Evy & Morrie Warshawski, photo by Marissa Carlyle
When Evy and Morrie Warshawski started E & M Presents in 2015, their goal was to fill an important gap in the cultural landscape of Napa Valley – presenting affordable, highly entertaining performing arts geared to families with children. In doing so, they’ve also developed a formidable network of kindred spirit supporters within the community.
Before launching E & M Presents, the Warshawski’s actively participated in the performing arts. Evy was a Presenter, bringing hundreds of performing artists in all disciplines to communities such as St. Louis, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, and others; Morrie was a strategic planning consultant. Since the duo moved to Napa in 2004, they have been deeply involved with the local arts community. Evy served as Executive/Artistic Director of the Napa Valley Opera House (2004-11) and as a Leadership Napa Valley board member. She currently serves on the Napa County Library Commission, Napa County Arts & Culture Advisory Committee, and as a Napa Valley Register Editorial Board member.
Morrie served as a Consultant helping to create the Napa County Community Cultural Plan, a grants panelist for Arts Council Napa Valley, and a judge for the Napa Valley Film Festival (2013 – 2014). In addition, Morrie is an artist, a published poet and author of two books on fundraising and participated in Open Studios 2022, showcasing his original artworks.
Their deep connections and passion for the arts fueled their quest to bring the performing arts to children. They felt kids were getting the short shrift regarding live performance and hoped exposing them to talent in the arts might influence them and evoke their interest in becoming artists as well.
In their pursuits to find performances that appeal to children, they acknowledge that kids today are sophisticated and don’t book shows they wouldn’t want to see themselves, avoiding acts that condescend or are too “cutesy.” “I look for artists that bring their message to the stage, that have something to say, to teach, to interact and have fun with the kids in the audience,” Evy said. “When I was at the Opera House, I knew I had booked a show with impact when I would hear people talking about it the following day at Starbucks. That’s what I want for our younger audiences.”
Although E & M Presents is the only presenter and local non-profit organization of touring artists bringing work for kids and families, they would not be entering their 8th year without the support of their generous donors who believe in the same cause and celebrate what they are trying to accomplish. Ticket revenues only cover approximately 30% of the expenses, but E &M strives to keep the shows affordable with lower-than-average ticket prices. In that light, their mission includes not leaving anyone out who cannot afford the price of a ticket. Thanks to donations and the support of many local social service providers, they are able to offer free tickets when space allows, reaffirming their mission that the show must go on.
Look Out! Science is Coming!
Saturday, June 17
Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center
1pm and 3pm
The Okee Dokee Brothers
Sunday, July 2
Yountville Community Center
1pm and 3 pm
FOR MORE INFORMATION www.eandmpresents.org