Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe receives emergency Arts Appreciation Grant

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY MAY 8, 2020

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, the only professional black theater company on Florida's West Coast and one of only three in Florida, was thrilled to receive an emergency Arts Appreciation Grant of $30,000 from Gulf Coast Community Foundation. WBTT was one of 10 of this region's signature arts organizations to receive funding totaling $470,000 in April, to assist arts and cultural organizations hit the hardest due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is providing much-needed cash flow for WBTT as well as helping WBTT shift its operations – with regard to keeping its education and mentorship efforts strong and available through virtual means – until a return to a traditional live format is possible and safe. WBTT is proud that, even with the significant financial hit the organization has suffered in the wake of the cancellation of the majority of its 2019-2020 performance season, it has kept its entire staff on the payroll.

“While our prior fiscal health has put us in a less dire situation than it could be, this emergency funding will have a significant impact on the long-term survival of our company,” said Julie Leach. “We are currently working to figure out how we can transition our operations in order to continue our impact and reach throughout the community. Recent influxes of cash – including the emergency Arts Appreciation Grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation – are helping us to get through this crisis as well as affirming our value to the community.”

WBTT applied – and was approved – for a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan, and has also applied for a recently-announced NEA grant program to assist arts organizations impacted by COVID-19. WBTT was also elated to have raised more than $190,000 during the recent 2020 Giving Challenge, coming in seventh out of nearly 700 participating nonprofit organizations.

Gulf Coast typically awards its Arts Appreciation Grants once a year to key arts and cultural partners. With minimal paperwork and wide flexibility for how the funding is used, the grants are designed to let the organizations focus on what they do best: advancing their artistic missions. Gulf Coast awarded the same amount to WBTT earlier in Gulf Coast's 2019-2020 fiscal year, in October of 2019.

Pictured: Nate Jacobs, founder and artistic director of WBTT, Julie Leach, executive director of WBTT, and Mark Pritchett, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Photo taken in October 2019.

« View The Friday May 8, 2020 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Sarasota Opera Offers Affordable and Virtual Youth Summer Camp

Sarasota Opera Offers Affordable and Virtual Youth Summer Camp

Andrew Fabian | May 29, 2020

FST Provides Summer Camp Scholarships for Children of Front Line Workers

FST Provides Summer Camp Scholarships for Children of Front Line Workers

May 29, 2020

The Circus Arts Conservatory to Offer Free Live International Virtual Show

The Circus Arts Conservatory to Offer Free Live International Virtual Show

May 28, 2020

WBTT Presents Family-Friendly Rockin' Down Fairytale Lane

WBTT Presents Family-Friendly Rockin' Down Fairytale Lane

May 22, 2020