The nonprofit Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center (OHMTEC) is planning for a fundraising gala, featuring Broadway stars Christy Altomare (“Anastasia”), Derek Klena (“Jagged Little Pill”) and Justin Guarini (“American Idol”), hosted by Ted Chapin on July 11. Tickets are now on sale.
OHMTEC) is raising funds to purchase, restore, and preserve Highland Farm in Doylestown, Oscar Hammerstein II’s former home and creative epicenter. The mission is to honor Hammerstein’s work as a librettist and lyricist, and his legacy of mentorship and social activism.
In 1940, as the United States faced the prospects of entering World War II, Oscar and his wife, Dorothy, bought the 72-acre working farm. Like many New York-based artists of the time, Hammerstein was seeking a quiet place to work outside of the city, as well as a refuge should the conflict come to American shores.
The Hammerstein family lived at Highland Farm for the last 20 years of Oscar’s life. This is the place where he forged his legendary partnership with Richard Rodgers and that inspired many of their greatest musical works, including “The Sound of Music,” “Carousel,” “The King and I,” “Oklahoma!” and “South Pacific.” Here, Hammerstein wrote the lyrics to songs loved the world over, including the final lyrics he wrote before his death, “Bless my homeland forever,” from the song “Edelweiss” in “The Sound of Music.”
It is also the place where Hammerstein mentored a young Stephen Sondheim, and where he contributed to society by increasing awareness of social issues and the need for tolerance of diversity, as illustrated in songs like “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught,” from South Pacific.
Over 75 Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes can be directly traced back to Highland Farm.
With the goal to create a multifaceted and dynamic museum experience, with a strong theater-education component, serving as a place of inspiration for Broadway fans and humanitarians alike, OHMTEC has raised nearly $1 million toward the purchase of Highland Farm.
The project is the recipient of a $500,000 matching grant from the state of Pennsylvania. An additional $1 million is needed to complete this first phase of the project, so that the home can be opened to the public as a museum. OHMTEC has coined the hashtag: #SaveOscarsHome as one way to build awareness.
Tickets are available at hammersteinmuseum.org. For information on sponsoring the event, email email@example.com.
A limited number of naming opportunities are being offered for rooms and spaces in the house and barn at Highland Farm. To find out availability and prices for naming, contact Christine Junker, Secretary/Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations of any amount are welcome and can be made by check, credit card or appreciated securities.