Theater offers grants to nonprofits

DeKALB – Since the Egyptian Theatre was saved from demolition in the late 1970s, its vision has been a community-based one. The theater’s success has continually been embraced by both the arts community and the people of DeKalb County.

The theater’s mission is “to share and protect the historical integrity of the theater as a regional arts center for entertainment and community involvement.” In furthering this mission, the Egyptian has announced the Egyptian Theatre Community Grant Program, a new program which will provide grants to assist local nonprofits in renting the theater.

The Egyptian has maintained the rates it charges groups to rent the theater since 2006. As operation expenses have risen, the theater has become increasingly creative in finding ways to remain open and operating. Keeping the theater accessible to community use has been a top priority, so the board of directors and staff have worked hard to keep the burden of increased expenses off of the community groups that rent the theater.

“We have actually added nonprofit discounts and multi-day rental discounts in recent years to assist local groups even further,” board president Ryan Weckerly said. Since 2006, the number of community groups that utilize the theater has grown each year. More than 25 groups now use the theater.

Since the grant program is new, there are special deadlines that will apply for the 2012-13 season only. The grant application and guidelines are online at www.egyptiantheatre.org/community-grants. Applications are due prior to receiving a rental contract, allowing groups to find out what grant amount they might receive before committing to renting the theater. Organizations may apply for more than one grant in a year, but priority will be given to organizations that have not yet received a grant in that year.

“We are very excited about this new program and hope it will be a way for even more community groups to utilize this fantastic venue,” executive director Alex Nerad said.

Groups that have not used the theater for events before are encouraged to contact the theater. Events in recent years have included theatrical productions, concerts, dance performances, films, athletic events, art shows, graduations, receptions and meetings.

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