Mary Gilbreath Grim, left, and Ken’Ja L. Brown starred in Theatre Arlington’s production of ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.’ (Photo by Eric Younkin Jr.)

Officials with Theatre Arlington announced today (Wednesday, Feb. 24) that the theater has been awarded an $80,000 Downtown Arlington Cultural Arts Grant by the Arlington Cultural Tourism Council. This grant will provide the 48-year-old theater with much-needed operational funding, Theatre Arlington officials said, noting that ACTC has been a longstanding source of funding for Arlington’s cultural tourism program development, expansion and operations.

According to press release announcing the grant, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Theatre Arlington was living up to its mission of “producing superior, diverse theatrical productions and providing quality arts education on a daily basis for 47 years.

“Between productions, theater classes and outreach, a nonprofit theater must find the time to contribute many hours to fundraising and developing a broad donor base, as ticket revenue only covers about 40 percent of a theater’s operating cost,” the press release noted. “Project or program grants are nice and essential to support those important endeavors, but what a nonprofit truly covets are grants that can maintain their day-to-day operation. This general operating support may cover staff, rent, office supplies or just help to ‘keep the lights on,’ all of which builds a stronger, more sustainable infrastructure.

“Though the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced arts institutions across the nation to either close their doors permanently or extremely limit their work, Theatre Arlington has tightened its belt and worked diligently to continue providing education and entertainment in a safe and healthy way. This generous and very timely grant from ACTC is an investment in Theatre Arlington’s success and contributions to the city of Arlington,” the press release concludes.

Theatre Arlington’s Executive Producer Steven D. Morris, its staff and its board of directors are “humbled and honored to receive this generous grant empowering us to continue to broaden our mission,” Morris said. “We are thrilled that ACTC has chosen to support the Arts in Arlington in such a powerful way, especially in times such as these. This generous grant is a wonderful, much needed gift to Theatre Arlington, our patrons and our community. We are grateful that the ACTC believes in what Theatre Arlington and all of the arts offer a community.”

Theatre Arlington, located in the center of Arlington’s Arts District, is one of the largest semi-professional non-profit theaters in the Southwest, with roots that date back to 1973 and a group known as the Potluck Players.

Besides a regular season featuring eight to nine productions and a cabaret series, Theatre Arlington runs a year-round theater school, including spring break and summer camps. The theater also partners with the Arlington ISD and local community organizations to provide free and low-cost art enrichment programs for area children and teens.

Theatre Arlington is also proud to perform under its Actors’ Equity Small Professional Theatre Contract, and it has become a key player in enriching the city’s cultural environment.