Macy's Reprises Its "Yes, Virginia The Musical" Program and Again Offers $100,000 in School Grants

Macy's Reprises Its "Yes, Virginia The Musical" Program and Again Offers $100,000 in School Grants

Inspiring program returns to elementary and secondary school stages as part of Macy's holiday "Believe" campaign

Offers educators royalty-free assets, an interactive digital toolkit and grant opportunities for holiday school performances of "Yes, Virginia The Musical"

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Macy's is again offering its original production "Yes, VirginiaThe Musical" to schools for the 2013 holiday season to charm audiences across the country. The school musical program debuted last year as part of Macy's holiday Believe campaign and "Yes, Virginia The Musical" was performed by elementary and middle schools nationwide. In support of arts and music education, Macy's will provide the script and score royalty free and also will offer $1,000 grants to 100 eligible schools, on a first-come basis, to support their productions. To inspire and help guide schools, Macy's also will provide a comprehensive digital toolkit, available at, which is equipped with an interactive script, production reference materials and inspirational videos from theater experts.

Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center performs the world premiere of
Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center performs the world premiere of

Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center performs the world premiere of "Yes, Virginia The Musical," which Macy's is bringing back for a second season and again offering $100K in school grants. (Photo: Business Wire)

"We couldn't have imagined the amazing impact 'Yes, Virginia The Musical' would have on local school communities when we introduced the program last year," said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer for Macy's. "The warm response was overwhelming - with so many participating schools sharing that the royalty-free assets and grants helped them to stage productions they may not otherwise have been able to produce, giving students a meaningful opportunity to engage in theatre arts and experience the excitement and fun of being in a school play. Macy's is proud to offer 'Yes, Virginia The Musical' again this year, and we look forward to another season of magical performances."

"Yes, Virginia The Musical" was inspired by the true story of 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the "New York Sun" newspaper in 1897, to ask about the existence of Santa Claus. The Sun's editor responded with a poignantly-worded essay that became one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time and served as the inspiration for Macy's Believe campaign. During the campaign, which supports Make-A-Wish®, Macy's collects letters to Santa. For each letter Macy's receives, the retailer donates $1, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Since 2009, Macy's has reimagined Virginia's story in a variety of formats including an animated special, "Yes, Virginia," which has aired in both English and Spanish, illustrated storybook, puppet show and a new concert entitled "Yes, Virginia in Concert," which will receive its world premiere on Dec. 14, 2013, in a performance by the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra.

Macy's first introduced "Yes, Virginia The Musical" in 2012, and it was embraced by schools across the country. From Arizona and California to Florida and New York, teachers, students and families rallied around the musical and brought its inspiring message of hope to life. Schools received the script and score royalty free, and the 100 grant recipient schools put those funds to use to purchase costumes, set materials and even sound and lighting equipment. Many schools used their performances as a way to give back, encouraging their students and audiences to write letters to Santa to support Macy's Believe campaign. With their help, Macy's reached its goal of collecting 1 million letters.

Now through Sept 16, interested elementary and middle schools can visit to submit a grant application. The grants will be awarded to the first 100 eligible schools that complete the application process. All interested schools also are able to access the digital toolkit on, which contains the downloadable, royalty-free script and score, select songs, inspirational videos and full details for grant application.

"Yes, Virginia" was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. "Yes, VirginiaThe Musical" was adapted from the animated special and storybook by Chris Plehal, Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy® Award-winning creative team behind the original song "Yes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus)."

About Macy's

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc. (NYS: M) , delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores -- including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California -- are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers, employees and Macy's Foundation, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

For Macy's media materials, including images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at

About Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 226,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at to learn more.


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