Letter: Whit Dickey’s Role in Upper Valley Theater
To the Editor:
Thank you for Warren Johnston’s fine article about Whit Dickey in your June 24 edition.
Whit and Closey’s commitment to the Upper Valley went well beyond making monetary contributions. They gave their time as well, tirelessly working on behalf of many nonprofit organizations. I had the pleasure of working with both of them on the board of River City Arts back in the 1990s and on projects for Northern Stage in subsequent years.
Despite valiant efforts by the staff, the board and a long list of donors, River City Arts closed its doors in 1995. But true to form, Whit’s commitment didn’t end there. Had River City been forced to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy, its assets would have been liquidated to pay off its creditors. Whit came up with a plan for an informal process whereby we negotiated with creditors to settle for what little cash we had left. The result was that one of River City’s most valuable assets was saved: its large collection of costumes. A few years later, when Brooke Ciardelli came to town, we were able to give those costumes to Northern Stage to help kick off that organization and rejuvenate professional theater in the Upper Valley.
No one enjoys winding down an organization, especially one that was so loved by the community. But someone had to do it, and Whit stepped up. It was an honor for me to work side by side with a person who always demonstrated the utmost in selflessness. Whit was a great example for us all.