Dennis Mangers has worn many hats during his long career: Teacher. Assemblyman. Lobbyist. Political adviser.
Now, as he enters his 75th year, he’s establishing his own nonprofit to provide performing arts scholarships for low-income youth.
The Dennis Mangers Fund for Young Performing Artists will launch at a joint benefit concert and birthday party on Oct. 5 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento, featuring performances from local singers including the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, which he helped found.
“Every time he has a big birthday, he tries to make it a celebration for something else,” said John Hancock, a longtime friend of Mangers’ who is helping to organize the event. “This year, being his 75th, he wanted to do something even bigger.”
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The scholarships will help children who cannot otherwise afford it access training in the region through organizations like California Musical Theatre, the B Street Theatre and the Sacramento Ballet. The Sacramento Region Community Foundation, of which Mangers is current the chair, will manage the fund and match the first $10,000 in donations.
Hancock said it is an issue close to Mangers’ heart: “He put himself through school singing and performing, but he never could afford formal training.”