Blog Post

Gift From Late Friends Board Member Funds Theatre Tech Camp

The family of longtime Cedar Falls resident, Friends board member, business leader and community volunteer Mary Taylor has announced a generous gift to fund a new theatre technology summer experience at the University of Northern Iowa. 

The Mary Taylor GBPAC Family Experience Fund will cover enrollment fees for every participant in the upcoming SETT (Science and Engineering in Theatre Technology) Camp. These "camperships", valued at $150 per student, will ensure the experience is financially accessible for all students. Additional funding is provided by the McElroy Trust and Veridian Credit Union. 

Mary, who passed away in 2020, was passionate about the community and an advocate for the performing arts. Her family chose to support this opportunity because it represented Mary’s love of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, her background as an educator, and her cherished experiences as a stage manager in high school theatre. Her sisters Dawn and Anne Taylor commented, “Our parents exposed us to the performing arts as children, establishing a lifelong love and appreciation for live theater and musical events. Mary would be thrilled to be attached to this project and to be part of introducing a new generation to the live theatre

The SETT Camp will provide an opportunity for interested students in grades 7-12 to receive hands-on instruction from expert theatrical technicians from both the Gallagher Bluedorn and the UNI Department of Theater. Participants will learn STEM concepts involved in backstage equipment to learn how theatre magic comes to life. 

Mary Taylor’s family encourages additional community support to ensure this experience is sustainable for years to come. They stated, “Mary strongly believed in supporting community development and engagement, whether that was through volunteering her time and talents, or by establishing this financial gift that will keep the music playing for years to come and be accessible to everyone.”

If you would like to help financially support this new offering, please visit or by contacting Susan Munnik, GBPAC Director of Development, at Additional information about the camp can be found at