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How NewBoCo is partnering with Giving Tree Theater

Giving Tree Theater in Marion had some big goals when it first launched in 2015. One was to be “the best little arts organization in the region.” Another was to always give back to the community, by sharing $1 of every ticket sale with nonprofits.

That tradition is still in place. And for the next few months, Giving Tree has selected NewBoCo as its latest nonprofit partner.

“I’d heard for years about the impact NewBoCo makes, so we quickly saw that it’s a great fit,” says Giving Tree owner Jamie Henley. “The education piece at NewBoCo is obviously a huge piece for us, because education is a key component of who we are. And then the entrepreneurial mindset – trying to teach young people about starting a new business – hits very close to home, considering that Giving Tree Theater is still a relatively young startup business.”

Located at 752 10th St in Marion, Iowa, Giving Tree was originally founded by Richie and Heather Akers. They sold the theater to Jamie and his late wife Andrea in 2019, and the couple continued the tradition of putting on live comedies, dramas, and musical performances. One of Giving Tree’s unusual perks is that instead of traditional theater seating, the performance space is filled with couches for the audience to sit on.

Sadly, Andrea passed away last fall. But Jamie has continued to carry on Giving Tree’s mission in her memory. This weekend, the theater is opening the comedy “The Hallelujah Girls,” which runs through April 28. In the play, after a group of women lose a dear friend, they decide to launch a campaign to improve their lives and achieve their dreams before their own time runs out.

Jamie is directing the play, and tickets are available here.

Continuing to produce shows that Andrea would have loved is a big part of honoring his wife’s legacy. But Jamie says that another part of her legacy is giving back to the community. Each quarter, Giving Tree chooses a local nonprofit to partner with; in Q1 of 2024, that partner was Tanager Place, and beginning this month, it’s NewBoCo. In addition to donating one dollar of every ticket sale to NewBoCo, the theater will also be collecting donations under the “Giving Tree” in the lobby.

“Richie and Heather started that at the very beginning with Giving Tree,” Jamie says. “That was part of their mission. And one reason that drew us to purchasing the theatre when we did was that giving back has always been important to us. When we took over, we tried to really expand on that, not just by making it a donation, but making it a partnership, really using our social media and our presence with our audience to shed work on the great work that nonprofits in our community are doing. We want them to get more than just a donation from us. We also want them to get new supporters from our patrons.”

At NewBoCo, we are thrilled and grateful to be partnered with Giving Tree Theater, and we’re already making plans for the entire staff to attend a night out at a show together. We hope you buy a ticket as well. You’ll be seeing some great theater. And you’ll be giving us a boost, too.

Learn more about Giving Tree Theater at

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