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.”
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.”