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Highschool Theatre Grants

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by SAWYeR, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. SAWYeR

    SAWYeR Active Member

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    I saw a post a while ago about a school in Australia that got something like a $25,000 grant for their theatre. This got me thinking, how does one go about applying for a grant for their high school in the U.S., and who gives grants out (as in companies or goups)? My high school is looking at getting some movers, maybe 2-4 VL1000s, but we need money. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I've gotten several grants from the county art's commission... a devision of my county government who give out small grants to encourage art in the community. I came close on a grant from a local rich guy who does artistic grants. My school had a massive school wide federal grant to internationalize our curriculum... I scored a lot from that grant. There are tons of companies that give out little grants. Target stores for example give out thousands of dollars every year from each store.

    One thing that will help you a lot is to have a non-profit status booster group. It's not really hard to do, you just need a few committed parents, one of whom has a good head on their shoulders for finances as there are a few special things you need to do for the IRS. The magic thing you want is "501(c)(3)" status. But once you have that people can donate to you and get a tax deduction. They don't get one for donating to the school directly.

    Next time you go to a professional or community theater play in your area look in the program for names of companies and foundations who donate to support the theater. Contacting those people would be a great starting point but you really need a 501(c)(3) first.
     
  3. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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  4. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Gaff, I've been wondering about the highschool you taught at, and how you got that target grant. Was it a severely underfunded public school? I mean, it seems like there are plenty of other high school theatre programs out there that need money more than we do, not to say we don't need money. (It's all relative, isn't it?) Any thoughts on that? Did you call up the store manager, or what? How does that work?
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I taught at one in the poorest school this side of southern California. Three housing projects made up about 70% of our students. About 90% of students were currently or had been in the past on welfare. It was a tough place to teach... but the grant money was EASY to get. It's a lot harder to get grants in a typical white bread middle class school... but you are in a much better position to do the tax deductable donation route. A local middle class school here... not a wealthy neighborhood, just very average. Does this huge fund raiser dinner and auction every year and they raise something in the neighborhood of $20,000 in one night. That is VERY possible with the right parent group running the theater booster club. Yes it has to be a theater booster club because that's the way the IRS rules work. The club has to be completely disconnected from the school and your teacher can't be in charge of it... must be a parent. They raise the tax deductable money and then choose to donate it to you.

    On the other hand I was talking with the drama teacher from the 4th richest school in America last week... it's in L.A. and lots of famous people's kids go there. He just had one of those motorized dry cleaner racks installed in his costume room to make storage easy. I asked how much it costs and he said he had no idea, the school just paid for it. He also said that he had a student who got a Bentley as his 16th Birthday gift and was once offered $10,000 to cast a student as the lead in a show. Wow what a crazy place. Three drama teachers plus a paid tech director and a paid costumer. They do these HUGE productions and just pay for everything to be done. Wow.

    Random side note he said that a high school down the road just did Miss Saigon. Oh they had the Helicopter alright, what they didn't have was a single Asian student in the whole cast. All these blond girls running around acting Vietnamese. What a nightmare.
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I have also written up some ideas to the forum over the years as concept in fund raising I have both used and studied in seperate than what's listed postings. This amongst other offerings on the topic.

    Perhaps a search into the website into "grant" will get you lots of concepts. Otherwise there is always the book I studied in college "Theater Management in America". (Just wish I didn't give away that dictionary sized bible for fund raising and paying the bills & got stuck with the normal text book earlier edition.) Believe the large text was by Stephen Langley. Search for it, good read even if not a front office type. Want new lights... this will tell you how to do it if not how to get the front office geared up in helping you do it. This amongst other things. Theater Management, good course to take in college.
     
  7. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    charcoaldabs

    I suspect that here in Pennsylvania there are a whole lot more hoops to jump through to get any grant money.

    But you're at the governor's end of the state, so that may improve things.


    Joe
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    That's hilarious!!:lol:
     

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