Our Stories

Lights, Camera, Tax-Exemption! Performing Arts Group Ready to Bring Drama Education to Schools in Need

http://www.publiccounsel.org/tools/assets/files/0465.jpgIt has been a life-long dream of Kristina Keeney Ivy’s to start a performing arts group. After heading a similar program at West Covina High School for five years, this multi-faceted teacher, performer, and entrepreneur decided to fulfill her dream by starting her own nonprofit. “I’ve worked with public and private schools. Private has better everything. I wanted to give that experience to less fortunate kids. There’s no excluding just because the kids can’t afford it,” Ivy explains.

Top Billing’s mission is to provide top quality performance, music, dance, and acting instruction as well as performance opportunities at low cost for students of all ages in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, with the aim of empowering local communities through education in the arts.   

CDP Senior Staff Attorney Sarah Stegemoeller assisted Top Billing Entertainment with obtaining tax-exemption. “Kristina’s request was to review her IRS 1023 application which she did an excellent job with drafting herself,” said Stegemoeller. “Obtaining tax exempt status was integral to being able to ask for donations.”

Having received tax-exemption, Top Billing is now preparing for their Christmas show, ‘Oh! What Fun!’ in which each performer has their own line and solo. With a total cast of 95, ranging from 4 to 38 years in age, “we will be performing at several venues around Southern California, including Disneyland. The kids are by far the most excited about performing there, especially because they receive free entrance to the theme park.”

What does the future hold for this burgeoning nonprofit? Next year they have plans of producing a main stage musical (Beauty and the Beast) as well as starting a small touring group. Within five years they would like to move into their own facility with the hopes of running a full-time performance academy that includes music, dance, acting, and film classes along with a full season of professional productions. Congratulations Top Billing Entertainment! Break a leg!

Click here to learn more about Top Billing Entertainment and to check out their upcoming performances.