It’s not just business meetings and schools going virtual due to the pandemic. From fundraisers to theatrical performances, non-profits are relying on virtual audiences to keep the doors open and services flowing. One of the most popular fundraising events of the year, The Festival of Trees, will go on vows organizers. “We are all working hard to bring you a safe and exciting Intermountain Festival of Trees,” reads their message on www.intermountain.org. “Be assured, even if we end up not being able to gather in person…the Festival will go on!” Silent auction items, a mainstay of the event, will be featured online for viewing and bidding. The annual Festival of Trees is critical support for Intermountain’s  mission to heal through healthy relationships; creating a supportive environment to improve society’s ability to provide prevention, protections, treatment, and permanency for all struggling children, youth, and families. Intermountain will post Festival of Trees updates on their website and on Facebook at facebook.com/Intermountain/MT/. Be sure to stay tuned.

For the past seven years, the Last Chance New Play Fest has steadily built an enthusiastic audience for its November showing of new plays celebrating the work of Montana regional playwrights. Not wanting to miss a curtain call, the nonprofit Experimental Theatre Cooperative, which produces the Fest, made the decision last June to go virtual rather than cancel the event. Filmed for online viewing, audiences can watch for free the seven plays in the Montana Short Cuts suite of plays on the theme “Gender Bender” along with an original one act written and performed by Steve Palmer and a full-length play by Ross Peter Nelson. Sign up at www.experimentaltheatrecoop.org to get a password. Though you can watch all the plays as many times as you want for free through November 30, the group hopes that some viewers will elect to make a donation to cover expenses and to help them prepare for next year’s event live on stage at the new Helena Avenue Theatre. This year’s Fest is co-sponsored by Mountain View Meadows, Northwestern Energy and an anonymous corporate donor and supported in part by a grant from the Montana Arts Council. A promo of the Fest can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/438645716300198/videos/2536418183322420