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  • 1.  Funding for High School Club

    Posted 11-24-2021 08:12
    Hello, I am the new director for a high school theater club. The program and is pretty green and hasn't been led by a person with an acting background in a very long time (like, 10 years). The school is very interested in building a great program but we have some limitations, mostly budget. Besides buying the rights for shows, the auditorium desperately needs a new floor and we could use some new tech equipment. Are there any good grants to apply for that provide funding for arts/ theater programs in high school? I don't work in a very low income area and the program is currently just after school. Any suggestions would be great.

    Brianna Alessio

  • 2.  RE: Funding for High School Club

    Posted 11-25-2021 06:00

    There are many grants from arts foundation s available. We just installed all new lights, paid for by a grant from, I think, the Ford Foundation. It helps that we have a development officer whose job it is to look for grants. In the meantime, do plays rather than musicals since the royalties are generally only 100 a night versus thousands for musicals. 
    Good luck! I was in the same position 30 years ago and I sometimes miss the let's just put on a show and wow them vibe a new program can have. Good luck!

  • 3.  RE: Funding for High School Club

    Posted 11-26-2021 10:18
    Greetings. There are so many resources available that many don't realize exist. First, check your school district Educational Foundation. Larger school districts often have those so teachers can apply for grants to supplement their programs.

    Second, see if your state has an Alliance for the Arts organization. They too often will have a grant program to help arts education groups.

    Next, check your state funded arts grouping. Because of Covid, states have set aside money to assist organizations who have suffered because of Covid. Reach out to your Department of Education representative and they should be able to assist and guide your through the process. Each state will be a little different. 

    Fourth, ask your administration about ESSER funds for your district. Each district has been given money to assist with student learning. Theatre can fall under Title 4 adventures.

    Finally, there are national grants through corporations, not for profit organizations like EdTA, a private entities who support the arts.

    Sometimes, there is money out there waiting for someone to just ask. Please message me with questions about specifics and I would love to help.

    Jennifer Morgan
    Director of Theatre
    Brownell Talbot College Preparatory School
    Omaha, Nebraska

  • 4.  RE: Funding for High School Club

    Posted 11-27-2021 19:23
    First, check with your principal to see if there is any Covid funding still left, especially funding meant for facilities.  Your floor might qualify.  

    We paid to have our stage floor sanded and refinished in the darkest possible stain by doing two public domain shows in one year.  I had tried everything I knew to find money through grants and had petitioned my principal every year to no avail.  We finally produced the famous melodrama Under The Gaslight by Augustin Daly and Medea by Euripides, as translated by Ian Johnston, as our two big shows one year and paid for the refinishing with our profit.  I formatted the scripts in bookfold in Word and printed them at school.  No royalties.  (Professor Johnston's version is online, and he does not charge royalties to schools.)

    Now, I can't bear to think of a world without new plays, and I hand over royalties and script fees gladly in most years, but when you need to make money and put a lot of kids on stage to build your program, public domain shows can really help.  

    CJ Breland
    Retired Theatre Arts Educator