January 11, 2023

What if Puppets Selected for Crux for a Cause Pro-Bono Marketing Services

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2023

Kansas City, Mo. — Kansas City marketing “un-agency” Crux KC has selected nonprofit organization What if Puppets, formerly known as the Mesner Puppet Theater, as the recipient of the 2023 Crux for a Cause program, granting $30,000 of pro-bono marketing services to one local nonprofit organization.

Established in 1987, What if Puppets uses innovative, interactive storytelling to inspire play and cultivate connections through puppetry. To date, What if Puppets has performed for more than 2 million young people through glove, rod, hand, marionette and innovative object-based puppetry, making meaningful connections with the youth of Kansas City, one child at a time.

Meghann Henry, Executive Artistic Director at What if Puppets, says the organization is ready to reach a wider audience as they work to expand their early childhood programming.

“We’re thrilled to work with a Kansas City-first organization in Crux,” said Henry. “As we continue to show our community how essential the arts are for early childhood development, this partnership will help us tell the story of our organization and share our artists and their puppets with the community.”

Crux Founder & CEO Melea McRae says What if Puppets is the perfect match for the team, culture and values at Crux.

“Our team is excited to jump into the imaginative world of puppetry in our fourth year of Crux for a Cause,” said McRae. “We love doing our part to help the community of KC that has supported our growth. Elevating brands and amplifying the missions of nonprofits is a pillar of what makes us an ‘un-agency.’”

The first three recipients of Crux for a Cause include People of All Color Succeed — an organization that provides schools with support in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Real World Learning (RWL) Soft Skills knowledge, while empowering students to better prepare for their future — KC Shepherd’s Center — a nonprofit that offers peer-led services aimed at helping senior Kansas Citians stay active and involved, get the care they need, and remain independent as long as possible in their own homes — and Kanbe’s Markets — an organization that provides access to fresh, healthy food to Kansas City’s food deserts.

In 2022, Crux received Nonprofit Connect’s Community Champion award, which honors marketing firms that go above and beyond to support the nonprofit community. Crux also earned two Philly Awards for its work with KC Common Good and KC Shepherd’s Center, as well as a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) PRISM award for its PR campaign on Working for Youth for KC Common Good.

“Nonprofits drive the health and prosperity of our community, and there’s no shortage of them that could benefit from a boost to their internal marketing engine,” McRae said. “This annual investment is a testament to the passion and commitment our team shares to build a stronger Kansas City.”

Since its founding in 2016, Crux has grown to an active roster of more than 70 clients and a team of 45 employees. The company’s rapid growth has landed them on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies, and Crux has been named one of the Kansas City Business Journal’s Best Places to Work and Champions of Business honoree, an Ingram’s Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For, a Healthy KC Gold Certified company, and a Greater Kansas City Chamber Top 10 Small Business two years running.

Learn more about Crux for a Cause and Crux’s commitment to the community.

About What If Puppets

What if Puppets was created in 1987 by internationally recognized puppeteer Paul Mesner. The nonprofit organization uses this creative storytelling medium to capture children’s imagination. Since then, the puppetry and early childhood education group has performed for more than 2 million children, received three UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, and has become a regular part of early childhood education in the Kansas City metro area. Learn more at whatifpuppets.org.

About Crux KC

Founded in 2016, Crux KC is Kansas City’s “un-agency,” combining the leadership of a fractional CMO with a marketing-department-as-a-service model to provide simple, smart and affordable full-funnel marketing solutions for clients. Because when you’re a business leader looking for growth, you’d rather just get to the point. Crux is your in-house marketing team—outsourced. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. Learn more at cruxkc.com.

About the author: Crux KC is a Kansas City marketing firm (and the city’s first “un-agency”) that merges executive-level marketing and business strategy to provide a simple, smart and affordable outsourced marketing solution for clients.

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