Sacramento Comedy Spot
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Organization Details


The Improv Kids launched in January 2018 as monthly improv classes. In 2019, we offered weekly drop-in improv classes for kids (ages 9-17) at the Comedy Spot Training Center. Students participated in a 1 hour improv workshop designed to be a creative outlet, to build confidence, sharpen minds, to work as a team, and have FUN in a safe and supportive environment.

The workshops were very popular and met our education goals. Having a weekly drop-in classes allowed kids and teens to participate at a low cost, and on their own schedule. However, drop-in classes did not draw as many students as we expected, and we want to support students and parents for whom money and transportation were still a barrier to participation.

Our goal in 2020 is to work with city officials and local organizations to bring the improv workshops to schools and afterschool programs. With your support we will expand this program to kids and teens in schools and after-school programs in under-served areas in Sacramento.
Program Successes
This program was launched January 2018 and hundreds of children have already participated in our classes and both students and parent feedback is very positive.
The Comedy Spot provides scholarships for classes to students for whom money is a barrier, and/or those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion.

Scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case and class-by-class basis for all levels of our improv, stand-up, sketch, video, and film classes. Applicants do not have to audition for this scholarship, but must begin at the 101 level for each type of class. The scholarship is for the opportunity to participate in a class. The recipient does not receive a cash award.

Selection Process:
The Diversity Scholarship Coordinator will send applications to each member of the Selection Committee. Committee members will review each application and issue a recommendation of: yes, no, or need more information. These recommendations should also be accompanied by a brief statement explaining their decision.

Once each committee member has issued a recommendation, the Scholarship Coordinator will compile a summary on each applicant, and then the committee will make a final vote. Before issuing a rejection or invitation, all Committee Members will be consulted. The Coordinator will contact the applicant with the committee's determination.

The applicant can choose to accept or reject the scholarship. If the applicant accepts the scholarship, they will be added to a class roster.

Selection Criteria:
The objective of this scholarship is to make sure that all of our patrons at special events, comedy shows, and classes see themselves represented at the Comedy Spot. We are looking for applicants who will help us achieve this goal. The targets of these scholarships are students for whom money is a barrier, and/or those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion.

Continuing Mentorship:
After a scholarship is granted, Diversity Scholarship Coordinator should contact the student during, and at the conclusion of each class to make sure they have, and will continue to have, the resources they need to be successful and remain a member of the Comedy Spot community.
Program Successes
This program was launched in December 2017.

- In the first year we award 15 scholarships.
- In 2019, we awarded 13 scholarships.
- Our goal for 2020 is to award 24 scholarships.
People of Color Improv Space offers a unique opportunity for students who identify as POC to explore the comedic arts in a safe and nurturing environment. This monthly workshop is FREE to participants. No prior experience necessary! Each month will focus on a new theme with relevant exercises, co-lead by local improv instructors Justine Lopez and Betsaida LeBron. In addition to education, the workshop is a great way to have fun and interact with others in the community.
Program Successes
- POC improv space attracted, on average, 10 students monthly.
- Our goal for 2020 is an average of 15 students per session.
One of our goals it to make Sacramento a better place through laughter by partnering with city officials, local charities, businesses, organizations, and individuals who want to make a positive contribution to Sacramento.
Program Successes
Since 2018 the Comedy Spot has raised over $10,000 for local nonprofits including Sacramento Area Animal Coalition, Women's Empowerment, CA Partnership to end Domestic Violence, Rainbow Festival, Sacramento Homeless Period Project, WellSpring Women's Center, and Reading Partners. Additionally, the Comedy Spot has partnered with members of our community to feed the homeless, feed families for Thanksgiving, and buy Christmas presents for local families.

Our Goal for 2020 is to partner with local charities to raise funds and awareness, for all of our events, such as Sacramento Comedy Festival and FemmeFest. We will also look forward to creative ways our Comedy Spot community can help the our greater Sacramento community.
The first Femme Fest was held in March 2019. The event is a celebration and showcase of women in comedy. The lineup includes nationally recognized sketch groups, improvisers, and stand-up comics, as well as extraordinary local talent all performing at the Sacramento Comedy Spot. FemmeFest also includes workshops, participant events for networking, and informative panels.
Program Successes
The first FemmeFest was an absolute success. Almost all the shows were sold out and participants had a positive experience. Feedback from both performers and audience was very positive and encouraging.

The Second annual FemmeFest will be held June 2020.
The tenth annual Sacramento Comedy Festival will be held October 2020. This event features improv teams, stand-up comedians, and sketch comedy groups from all over the country and also features local comedic short films. It's also an opportunity for comedians to network with each other and perform in one of the best comedy cities in the United States. The Sacramento Comedy Festival also features workshops, participant events for networking, and informative panels.
Program Successes
Sacramento Comedy Festival has attracted hundreds of comedians from around to world to participate in this celebration of all types of comedy.

- Sacramento Comedy Festival was created in 2011 by Brian Crall, comedian and President of Sacramento Comedy Foundation, which operates Sacramento Comedy Spot.
- 2011: Sacramento Comedy Festival began as a four-day event, featuring comedians from mostly Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
- 2012: Sacramento Comedy Festival expanded to seven days and featured comedians from all over the West Coast, including Portland and Denver.
- 2013 : Sacramento Comedy Festival expanded to nine days, adding the Stand-Up Comedy Competition, with a $1,000 first-place prize. Comedians participated from all over the country, from San Francisco to New York.
- 2014: Sacramento Comedy Festival expanded the Stand-Up Competition to include a wildcard round, featured the famed Cambridge Footlights from England, and broke attendance levels.
- 2015: Steven Bloom was appointed Executive Director of Sacramento Comedy Festival. Steven expanded the festival by including all Sacramento full-time, and many part-time, comedy venues.
- 2016: In 2016, the Stand-Up Comedy Competition separated from the Sacramento Comedy Festival to become its own event. Sacramento Comedy Festival was a jam-packed, three-day event, featuring our favorite improv, stand-ups, and sketch comedy groups, held exclusively at Sacramento Comedy Spot. The festival is a showcase of national and local talent.
- 2017: OUR BIGGEST FESTIVAL YET! Great shows. Great audiences. Time to expand in 2018.
- 2018: Expanded back to 4 days with sold out shows all festival long!
- 2019: Maintained 4 day event and included a wide variety of talent from far away regions. Audience appreciation at an all time high. Promotion lessons learned for 2020.
New for 2020

The Comedy Short Film Challenge features filmmakers that write, produce, film, and edit a comedic short film 5-6 minutes in length in 30 days. Participants are encouraged to film at various Sacramento destinations, use local talent, and highlight those experiences that make living in Sacramento unique. In order to maximize exposure and participation the accepted films will be screened at the Sacramento Comedy Festival. The Sacramento Comedy Spot offers a Video 101 class that teaches beginning filmmakers how to write, film, and edit short films. Class attendance will be highly encouraged for Challenge participation and required for borrowing film equipment (e.g. light, sound, camera, and editing etc.) at reduced or no cost.

Scholarships for the Video 101 class are available through our Diversity Scholarship program.

The Comedy Short Film Challenge gives filmmakers, comedians, actors, writers, costume designers, make-up artists, and other creatives an opportunity to learn the craft of filmmaking and produce a comedic short films.
Program Successes
2020 will be the inaugural Comedy Short Film Competition event and will be held in conjunction with the Sacramento Comedy Festival.