LESLEY JANE HUNT COLLECTIVE PUBLISHING PUBLICATION
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Veteran Retailer Embraces New Opportunities to Survive Pandemic Challenges
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ROTH IRAS FOR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS Most investors are familiar with the standard mechanisms of the Roth IRA: A person contributes post-tax money to a retirement account, typically for him/herself, and those funds experience tax-free potential growth as long as they are not withdrawn until the person reaches the age of 59 ½. In most families this is the primary and often sole use of the Roth IRA.
owever, the Roth IRA can also be an effective financial conduit for parents and grandparents as a custodial Roth IRA. This second and less familiar function of the Roth IRA gives parents and grandparents a new vehicle with which to disperse their own wealth - and instill their values and work ethic in the next generation. When used properly, a custodial Roth IRA can teach children the value of compound interest and the basics of filing a tax return, while also offering a head start on retirement savings.
GETTING STARTED Taking advantage of this strategy requires the child to have earned income equal to or greater than the amount of the contribution. That means the first step is encouraging the children or grandchildren to earn some money for themselves. Expect documentation to be required at tax time,
which means the child also gains the life experience of filing what may be his or her first tax return. After the grandkids take the initiative to clear the income hurdle, a parent or grandparent can begin to contribute to the Roth IRA on the child’s behalf. One approach may be for Nana to offer a matching contribution on a percent of the grandchild’s earnings, depositing that amount into the child’s Roth IRA each pay period. Because parents or grandparents are able to make deposits for the purpose of savings and the child can still spend the money he or she earned (contributions to the Roth IRA don’t have to be the child’s own money, but cannot exceed their income), the “Kid Roth” can become an appealing incentive for a child to find employment.
WATCHING IT GROW Custodial Roth IRA contributions are limited to the
Rick Harrison, Principal, Senior Financial Advisor
amount of the child’s annual income. However, suppose Nana contributes to a Roth IRA set up in the name of her 14-year old granddaughter who earns $2500 each year in babysitting and yard work. In this example, as long as the granddaughter continues to earn $2500 in annual income, Nana can deposit up to $2500 to the Roth IRA for her every year.
HABITS THAT PAY The benefits may not end there. After all, Nana’s granddaughter’s account balance is based on just five years of deposits which ended when she turned 19. Given the lessons learned from a forward-thinking and generous grandma, this young lady is likely to continue to make Roth contributions on her own after age 19. For the rest of her working career, she can deposit up to the current Roth IRA maximum of $5500 per year, and watch her Roth balance grow even more. There are many reasons to view the custodial Roth IRA as a powerful tool for parents or grandparents, not the least of which are the invaluable lessons on long-term investing. In addition to getting a head start on retirement savings, these kids learn firsthand how hard work results in lifelong rewards.
KID ROTH TIPS TO REMEMBER: • The child must have earned income in order to qualify for a Roth IRA contribution. Giftsand earnings from investments and savings do not qualify. • The child and custodian must document the income. Consult with your CPA, but thisusually means compiling records and filing a tax return. • Once the custodian (i.e. grandparent or parent) makes a contribution for the child, theycannot take it back. • The principal can be withdrawn tax and penalty-free at any time by the Roth IRA owner (i.e.the child). Any withdrawals must be for the exclusive benefit of the child.
For questions on the Kid Roth or any other investment, savings or wealth transfer strategy, call
800.888.7968 ADVISOR OR VISIT US AT WWW.SYM.COM
Disclosures: There is no guarantee of future performance with any SYM Financial Corporation (“SYM”) portfolio. These examples are for illustrative purposes only and there is no guarantee that any client account will perform at a certain level of performance. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. All investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal invested. The actual characteristics with respect to any particular client account will vary based on a number of factors including but not limited to: (i) the size of the account; (ii) investment restrictions applicable to the account, if any; and (iii) market conditions at the time of investment. The opinions expressed herein are those of SYM and are subject to change without notice. SYM reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs and there is no guarantee that their assessment of investments will be accurate. SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. SYM-17-12
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19 COVER STORY
Lesley Jane Hunt: Veteran Retailer Embraces New Opportunities to Survive Pandemic Challenges Our cover this month presents the story of Lesley Jane Hunt, who owns the popular downtown women’s boutique Lesley Jane’s. Hunt’s business has been an anchor in downtown Zionsville for several years. Until recently, she operated her retail business as she had for years. However, at the onset of the pandemic, like every other brick and mortar retailer, Hunt’s walk-in business hit a brick wall. Our story chronicles how Hunt pursued new opportunities to strengthen her operation to not just survive the pandemic but to thrive well beyond it. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Cover photo // Laura Arick
Zionsville Education Foundation Proudly Presents ZEF Bash 2020
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Building Upon Its Legacy in Zionsville
Zionsville Rotary Club on Building Tables and Community Spirit Zionsville Community High School Presents “Songs for a New World: A Virtual Performance”
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Z i o n s v i l l e E d u c a t i o n F o u n d a t i o n P r o u d ly P r e s e n t s
ZEF Bash 2020
Mark your calendar and recruit your team! Join us for ZEF Bash 2020 for a night of fun and interactive Trivia Night on Saturday, Nov. 14. Don’t miss this chance to support our schools while engaging in a little friendly competition with your friends and family and a chance to earn the ZEF Bash Trivia Night trophy, designed and built by ZCS students Lauren Kaltenmark and Brianna Monahan with guidance from ZCHS art teacher Grace Fletcher. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted
What Is the Zionsville Education Foundation?
id you know that Zionsville Community Schools is the lowest-funded public school corporation per student in the state? The funds raised by ZEF are used to help bridge the gap between the basic curricular necessities provided by the state funds and the innovative ideas our educators create to encourage our students to develop into lifelong thinkers. ZEF relies on corporate sponsors, individual donations, support from local businesses and fundraising events, such as its annual “Bash,” to support its mission. The funds that are donated and/or raised are used to award grants to ZCS teachers that are categorized as Classroom Grants, Imagine Professional Development Grants and Student Enrichment Grants. Lyle Browne, ZEF executive director, stated, “The need is greater now than it probably has ever been. The teachers have not stopped being creative, and they have not stopped finding ways to be innova-
tive during this time. We want to make sure that we maintain our ability to help when the schools call us, and that’s what ZEF Bash [formerly Barn Bash] does—it not only helps us fund the fall grants for teachers, but it will also help us be ready for that next big need.”
Pivoting in Spite of Pandemic ZEF Bash co-chairs Kim Lewis and Amy Essley have thoughtfully planned this year’s fundraiser strategically around the current pandemic but without compromising the fun factor and end game. “We’ve partnered with Hambone’s
Trivia to have a fun and interactive night where we can meet people where they are in this pandemic,” Lewis shared. “We wanted to create many different opportunities for people to participate. They can form teams up to eight people or they can participate with themselves and their immediate family/friends and play at home. They can invite their team to come to their house, or they can go to one of our partnering restaurants, make a reservation and play. While supplies last, we will be delivering swag bags the morning of to the team captains who are hosting a team.”
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Essley added, “We will have a gift card pull this year and have 125 gift cards valued at $20 each from local restaurants and businesses that were purchased and donated by our committee as another way to support the local businesses here in town.” The co-chairs mentioned that ZEF Bash Trivia Night will still feature an impressive silent auction that will offer extraordinary trips for those suffering wanderlust. And for those who anxiously await the annual ZEF cap reveal, Essley assured me that the famous “Cap off the Night” portion of the program will take place that evening. Don’t miss out on the fun! Visit ZEF’s website at zionsvilleeducationfoundation.org to register yourself and/or your team. It’s $160 for a team of eight or $50 for two adults or two adults with kids. The trivia competition will last from 7–8:30 p.m.
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WE DONATE OR RECYCLE YOUR OLD ITEMS LICENSED AND INSURED TRANSPARENT PRICING WHAT WE HAUL AWAY • Appliances • Carpets • Mattresses • Furniture for Home and Office • Hot Tub/Pool/Deck Removal • Shed/Minibarn/Gazebo Removal • Trash/Construction Debris • E-Waste • Yard Waste
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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing:
BUILDING UPON ITS LEGACY IN ZIONSVILLE Writer // Janelle Morrison â€˘ Photography // Courtesy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Earlier this month, Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) announced plans to expand and establish its global headquarters in Zionsvilleâ€™s Creekside Corporate Park, to be completed in 2022. The iconic racing organization will create up to 73 new jobs by the end of 2024.
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had the extreme honor of speaking with three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. Founded in 1992, RLL is co-owned by Rahal, former CBS “Late Show” host and Indiana native David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.
INDYCAR RACING ROYALTY
ABOVE Bobby Rahal
For those of us Hoosiers who have grown up at the track and have racing fever every May … well, typically every May … the Rahal name evokes a deep sense of tradition and gravitas when spoken. Ohio native Robert “Bobby” Woodward Rahal worked his way up through the racing ranks in an 18-year career spanning F1, Can-Am, Le Mans/IMSA and CART. Rahal took the checkered flag at three CART championships, including a win at the 1986 Indy 500, along with wins at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races. In his open-wheel racing career, Rahal started 264 races for five teams, took 18 poles and scored 24 wins. Rahal become one of a handful of individuals to win the coveted Indy 500 as both a driver and team owner when Buddy Rice clenched the 2004 Indy 500. Rahal is also credited for bringing Honda into North American open-wheel racing in the early 1990s.
Racing continues to run through the Rahal blood with Rahal’s son, Graham, who is one of the top young talents in the RLL organization. Additionally, Rahal and the RLL organization have overseen the growth of the team from a one-car program to a multi-car, multi-discipline organization that has developed some of open-wheel racing’s best talents, such as two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, Oriol Servia, Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick, Bryan Herta, Max Papis, Kenny Brack, Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. This year, RLL earned its second Indy 500 win when Takuma Sato also took home his second victory at this year’s unprecedented race this past August.
WHY ZIONSVILLE? WHY NOW? RLL, which has four entries in the NTT IndyCar Series and the IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will invest more than $20 million to build and equip a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-theart racing headquarters that will occupy 13 acres within the Creekside Corporate Park in Zionsville. The new facility will allow RLL to consolidate its existing IndyCar operations in Brownsburg, as well as its IMSA operations in Hilliard, Ohio. The new building will feature office and event space as well as automotive R&D and light manufacturing operations to support the dynamic functions of RLL’s racing teams. The company expects to break ground on its headquarters in
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late 2020 and be fully operational by spring 2022. Rahal shared that RLL has observed over the years that Indianapolis with its surrounding communities has become the mecca for IndyCar teams as it continues to attract organizations like RLL with the state’s economic incentives and skilled workforce. “We’ve really been based, to a large extent, in the Columbus, Ohio area since I started IndyCar racing in 1982,” Rahal shared. “I drove for the Truesports team, which was based in Hilliard, Ohio, which is a western suburb of Columbus. Since 2012, we’ve rented a facility in Brownsburg, Indiana, and we’ve always wanted to have our own facility again. And over time, it has become clear that the IndyCar world has really come to be centered in Indianapolis.” Rahal continued, “Prior to that [centralization], Newman/Hass Racing was based in Illinois and [Team] Penske was in Pennsylvania. Teams had their headquarters all over the nation, but in the 2000s, [IndyCar] had really become centered in Indianapolis and the surrounding counties. It became clear to us that we [RLL] needed to have a common rooftop [headquarters], and the Indianapolis area made the most sense, and the timing was right.” As RLL began investigating where in the Indianapolis area it should look to “set its stake down,” Rahal shared that
“We’ve had nothing but fantastic support from the mayor, her deputy mayor and all the people on the development side of the town who have all been great to work with.” the town of Zionsville was incredibly proactive and welcoming to Rahal and his co-owners. “We’ve had nothing but fantastic support from the mayor, her deputy mayor and all the people on the development side of the town who have all been great to work with,” Rahal said. “It became clear when we found a very nice piece of property [in Creekside Corporate Park] that this is where we should be. I’m very pleased to be part of an office park and not an industrial park. We have designed a building that we think not only speaks a lot about us as a team and organization but also the Zionsville community. As proud as we are of eventually being a citizen of Zionsville, hopefully the people of Zionsville will be proud of us.” Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron added, “I am excited for Rahal Letterman Lanigan to join the Zionsville community and to be located in Creekside Corporate Park. Since day one, our administration has been
focused on removing the obstacles that previously prohibited economic growth in town. Now we are excited to announce the first new corporation to break ground in Creekside Corporate Park in four years. This announcement is a testament to our investment in bringing new headquarters and businesses to our one-of-a-kind corporate conservation park. We look forward to welcoming the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team to our community!”
PUSHING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC It goes without saying that RLL had not factored in the current pandemic into its short- or long-term plans. I asked Rahal if he feels that it would have any impact on RLL’s deployment of constructing the new HQ and if the pandemic would have a lasting negative impact on the future of IndyCar racing. “Obviously, the Indy 500 was a very strange event for everybody,” Rahal expressed. “But we will get through this, and there is no doubt in my mind that the number of people that will come back to the races will be even greater than before and there will be an even greater appreciation for what was taken away from us by this pandemic. I think the pandemic will rebuild the audience like never before instead of diminishing it. We feel really good about the future, and we think we will be in our new facility by early 2022. That is our plan.”
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Building Tables and Community Spirit Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Zionsville Rotary Club
The Zionsville Rotary Club truly exemplifies “service above self,” and its latest service project is a testament to the organization’s Rotary International principal motto. When the pandemic struck earlier this year, the Zionsville Rotary Club asked itself in what ways could it help out the Zionsville community.
he club’s current president, Alan Stottlemyer, sparked an idea when the club’s past president, Jane Johnson, who works for Zionsville Community Schools, reached out to the district’s school principles to see how the Rotary club could assist the schools. The need was identified as outdoor tables to assist ZCS in facilitating outdoor learning. As a local service club that has been serving the Zionsville community for nearly 35 years, the local Rotarians wasted no time in organizing build-out dates and delivering tables to the local schools.
Building Long-lasting Tables and Bonds of Fellowship Rotarian Andy Liss has led the project of building tables and benches for ZCS students. The current goal is to build a minimum of four tables for each ZCS school. The club is comprised of about 25 members and has nearly 100 man hours into the 18 tables it has completed so far. But it can definitely use more hands and financial contributions from outside the membership.
“We’re a small club, but we’re mighty,” Liss expressed. “It’s just so fulfilling to know that we do build these [tables] so quickly and make a direct impact on our community. It’s what Rotary is all about.
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The project really began a few weeks back, over the summer, when the superintendent of ZCS, Dr. Scott Robison, was a guest speaker at our club. He discussed the pandemic and what the schools are doing,
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It’s just so fulfilling to know that we do build these [tables] so quickly and make a direct impact on our community. It’s what Rotary is all about.”
preparedness and things of that nature.” During Dr. Robison’s visit with Zionsville Rotary, the topic of outdoor spaces came up, and Robison mentioned that they really didn’t have a lot of good [outdoor] tables for lunch or outdoor learning to assist with the school’s COVID-19 protocols and workarounds. Liss added, “Our current club president, Alan [Stottlemyer], had noticed that the existing tables at his kids’ preschool were built to scale for smaller children, so we kind of molded the ideas together and decided that [building these tables] was an immediate need that would impact our community, right now, so we decided to set the project in motion, and it’s
been so fulfilling to do.” Members from the Zionsville Rotary Club have devoted four Saturdays over the last several weeks to building the six-foot-long tables and benches in Liss’ driveway and have delivered tables and benches to Union Elementary, Eagle Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary and Zionsville West Middle School.
sets of hands to assist with upcoming builds. If you are looking for a project or an organization to get involved in and would like to contribute to an upcoming build, please send the club an email at rotaryclubofzionsville@gmail. com. Visit the club’s website at zionsvillerotary.com for general information.
How You Can Assist the Rotary Club to Complete Its Project Considering that the pandemic has sparked a lot of home improvement projects as well as impacted the national supply chains, the purchasing process of lumber and related materials has been neither inexpensive nor easy to procure. The Zionsville Rotary Club relies heavily on its annual Zionsville Sprint Triathlon—that was canceled due to COVID-19— to raise funds for community projects such as this. “Right now, we’re solely funding this project on club funds,” Liss shared. “We’re a pretty small club, and our
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main fundraiser—for the past 45 years—was canceled due to COVID-19, so we’re using carryover funds to build these tables and benches.” The Zionsville Rotary Club would be most grateful for the community’s assistance with regards to corporate or individual monetary donations toward the lumber and material costs as well as extra
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Lesley Jane Hunt:
Veteran Retailer Embraces New Opportunities to Survive Pandemic Challenges Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and Tom Casalini
rior to the pandemic, Zionsville’s own Lesley Jane Hunt was in the midst of purchasing and taking special orders for prom dresses for the 2020 prom season. Though not a “prom” store, Hunt’s store, Lesley Jane in downtown Zionsville, is renowned for her first-class customer service. Prom season is to Hunt’s store like the holiday season is to most retailers. And this season was looking to be her best one to date.
Then COVID-19 caused the entire planet to stop on its axis, and with the government-mandated lockdown, Hunt’s profitable season turned into a diabolical financial nightmare.
Winter/Spring 2020 Going into the lockdown, there was no advance warning or time allotted for her to prepare for the virus that was looming over her prosperous season. “I was eyeball deep [in prom] and having
the best season,” Hunt shared. “Typically, January isn’t that strong for prom dresses, but I had started early, and the demand grew even stronger in February. We came into March going gangbusters, and then we hit a brick wall. We didn’t know if there was going to be any proms or if kids were even going to be in school at the beginning of March.” The barrage of special orders came pouring into the store, and many [orders] were unable to be canceled.
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“I just didn’t know if there would be any proms held, and I didn’t want to be the one to say to my customers, ‘Oh, now you’re having prom—sorry, your dress isn’t here,’ so I continued to accept the orders,” Hunt explained. “But then we went into lockdown, and then I started getting the cancellation phone calls and emails from my customers. By this point, many of the dresses had already arrived. We do have a 30-day window where customers can return dresses, but some fell out of that window. I honored everything I could.”
Pivoting on a Dime Hunt quickly realized that if she was going to literally stay in business, she had to adapt to the ever-changing pandemic environment and meet her customers where they were—at home. Customers could shop Lesley Jane via online, phone sales or virtual appointments. Like countless businesses, Hunt offered free shipping, curbside delivery and home delivery for local customers. When the governor’s reopening stages allowed for limited capacity, Hunt continued to promote her merchandise while scouring her vendors for what people were buying in lieu of specialty dresses and trendy outfits—mostly loungewear and things that looked good from the waist up on Zoom. “I did everything I could to stay viable,” Hunt expressed. “I put everything I had in the store on my little website. It was a pretty site but not terribly functional for a retailer. Building a better website had been on my list of things I wanted to do, but it was always getting pushed down the list of priorities. For one, website development is expensive and incredibly time-consuming.” Hunt continued, “I’m not going to lie—the lockdown hurt. It hurt a lot to be closed as long as we were and to not be able to do the kind of business we normally do. Even after the lockdown was lifted, people have continued to be cautious about going out in public, and I don’t blame them. So, I realized that the only way I am going to survive is to build a website that is efficient and has all the things that I need as a retailer and what
Modeling for Lesley Jane: Liza Macy @liza_macy
my customers need for an enjoyable online shopping experience. But frankly, I didn’t have the money to develop a new site or the merchandise to stock it.” One afternoon, Hunt saw a post from the Town of Zionsville that has quite possibly saved her business.
Relief for Retailers To help local businesses impacted by COVID-19, the Town of Zionsville launched programs that address the burden of unplanned expenses and lost revenue incurred due to COVID-19. One of these options is a grant available to businesses from the Town of Zionsville’s
CDC. This funding option is available to businesses located in the 106th Street Tax Increment Finance District (area bounded by Poplar Street, Elm Street, 96th Street, Michigan Road and Zionsville Road). “Our grantmaking opportunity through Zionsville’s Community Development Corporation was created to infuse TIF resources directly into the Village Business District,” Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron stated. “Our businesses are the backbone of our community, and we are grateful that merchants like Lesley Jane can access funds through this program to help them navigate the obstacles inherent in this economic crisis.” Hunt composed a plan to redevelop her website and marketing efforts, specific to ecommerce, and applied for the town’s grant. She was awarded the full $10,000 and has recently launched her new customer- and retailer-friendly website and has been hastily stocking it up with items for the fall/winter and holiday seasons.
Pushing Through a Pandemic “I wouldn’t have been able to relaunch my website, purchase the merchandise
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and team up with Collective Publishing if I hadn’t been awarded this grant. I look at [the grant] as a hand-up and not a handout,” Hunt expressed. “I found out you can redevelop a website, but that’s only half of what you need to get the word out there and to expand your customer base. I now have a website that I can build upon and manage. I also met with Collective Publishing—a local small business—and have been working with them on providing me with a comprehensive analysis of my competitors and redeveloping my social media presence. And I need somebody who can manage the analytics going forward.”
Going Forward With Gratitude and a Viable Plan In addition to giving thanks to the town for making the grant available, Hunt also expressed her sincerest thanks to her loyal supporters and customers for their continued support since opening Lesley Jane in 2009. “At the end of the day, I will be able to go to the town and say, ‘Here’s how I
spent the [grant] money, and here’s how it worked for me,’ and maybe having a story like that will help some other retailers. If I’ve learned anything throughout this whole process, it’s that you really have to have a handle on who you are as a business and who your target is. If you can find somebody to help you with doing a competitive analysis and do the
homework to help you with the analytics and to broaden your reach through social media, etc., than I would encourage other retailers and small businesses to do it. But you have to have a plan in place first.” Join us in supporting local this holiday season, and if you shop online, be sure to shop shoplesleyjane.com!
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Z i o n s v i l l e
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H i g h
S c h o o l
“Songs for a New World: A Virtual Performance” The Zionsville Community High School Choral and Music Theater proudly presents its production of “Songs for a New World: A Virtual Performance” this fall. And while it will not look or feel like a traditional ZCHS fall musical, the students and staff are diligently working to create a phenomenal production for audiences to enjoy as a virtual experience. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted
spoke with Sam Chenoweth, choral and musical theater director at ZCHS, about how the staff and students have been rehearsing and producing this unique video musical version of “Songs for a New World” and how important it is to the program as a whole to garner the support of our community through sponsorships and ticket sales for the virtual production.
A Poignant Production in These Times “Songs for a New World” is about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back. The first musical from Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (“Parade,” “Bridges of Madison County”), this moving collection of powerful songs examines life, love and the choices that we make. “It was a challenge for us to figure out
what to do [for a fall musical] when this all started in March,” Chenoweth said. “‘Sounds for a New World,’ well, first of all, the title is kind of poignant for right now. If you listen to the [musical], it’s all about being on the brink of a decision or a changing point in life. Giving our kids anything to sing about right now
is useful, but giving them something to sing about that is meaningful is even more important.” The production is comprised of a collage of stories, vignettes if you will, and as Chenoweth said, “[The musical] lends itself to physical distancing and isolated rehearsals, so it made sense [to produce]. Plus, it’s also just really beautiful music. Jason Robert Brown writes really good stuff, and it’s not a show that you see at the high school level very often and never here locally before. So, knowing the kids that we have this year, we knew we could pull it off. Throughout the rehearsal process, Isaac [Spillman] and I just kept looking at each other and kept saying, ‘Yeah—there’s no other year that we could have done this, but it is going to be really great.’”
Producing a Musical While Pivoting Around the Safety Protocols In the spirit of keeping the staff and
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backdrops, angles and different perspectives and wide-angle shots and close-ups. We will edit it all together, and it will be this really cool video that the kids can have for the rest of their lives and will hopefully be able to look back on this experience as a fulfilling one.”
ZCHS Needs Your Support, So Buy Your Tickets!
students safe, Chenoweth, co-director Isaac Spillman and their fellow staff members have intentionally gone about producing this musical using film production methodologies rather than traditional live theater methods of rehearsing and directing group ensembles. “I keep phrasing it as though we’re making a movie more than a [traditional] musical,” Chenoweth said. “We’ve been rehearsing in clear pods that were assembled to be like recording studios so that the kids can take their masks off and sing. I can still see them, but they are safely rehearsing in those pods using their own mics and headsets.” Chenoweth continued, “We’re recording all the vocals, and then we’ll set it all on a condensed stage that is more like a film set using lots of projections and video elements. Once we get to November, the
kids will come in with a professional [local] band and record—from their pods or booths—and essentially create a cast album. We’ll edit over the weekend to create really good tracks and come back the following week to film the video with the kids lip-syncing over the tracks and acting out the scenes. It’s kind of weird and different but in a way that everybody is excited about. It’s a totally different kind of experience for the cast and crew.” This year’s cast and crew is made up of 11 singers, eight dancers and 21 kids in the crew. Chenoweth emphasized that he has been relying heavily on Spillman’s film background and the inspiration he is drawing from the filmed version of Broadway’s “Hamilton” that streamed on Disney Plus. “We are trying to model [our musical] after the style that was used for ‘Hamilton,’” Chenoweth explained. “We’re using cool
It goes without saying that the students and staff heavily rely on the support of our community to keep their choral and theater programs going. So, with that being said … Go buy your tickets and help spread the word! “This [experience] has been a good outlet for me, the staff and the students,” Chenoweth expressed. “Even while standing in their individual booths, the concept of making music and creating a show together is a ‘normal’ thing for them and is really healthy for them right now. It’s been a positive experience, and they’ve been coming in [for rehearsals] excited and eager to do something productive and creative. It’s been great, and they’re doing an excellent job at building a fantastic show, and that is what we all need right now.” Save the date for Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, for ZCHS’ presentation of “Songs for a New World: A Virtual Performance”! Tickets and virtual performance information is available online at zionsvillepac.org/events. Virtual Access Presale $20 per household Sales begin Friday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. Tickets available at zionsvillepac.org/events
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2020-09-24 9:34 AM
Lesley Jane Hunt: Veteran Retailer Embraces New Opportunities to Survive Pandemic Challenges Our cover this month presents the story of Lesl...
Published on Oct 23, 2020
Lesley Jane Hunt: Veteran Retailer Embraces New Opportunities to Survive Pandemic Challenges Our cover this month presents the story of Lesl...