The Fox Theatre Institute Awards Nearly $500,000 for 2017-18 Grant Season

The Fox Theatre Institute Awards Nearly $500,000 for 2017-18 Grant Season

The Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) announces 13 grant recipients of the 2017-18 Historic Preservation, Historic Structure Studies or Planning, and Technical Assistance and Service grants completing a record-breaking year of giving totaling $470,541 including the previously announced Urgent/Emergency Need grants. These grants allow Georgia's historic theaters or structures to receive much needed financial assistance, restoration support, and operations mentoring.

As part of its ongoing commitment to Georgia's historic theaters, the Fox Theatre's newly expanded 2017-18 FTI grant program seeks to provide significant economic and cultural impact to local communities across the state. FTI is part of the Fox Theatre's overall strategic plan to further increase its impact and outreach.

"In less than a decade, the Fox Theatre Institute has truly flourished and brought our goals to life allowing greater access for the arts throughout the state of Georgia," said Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Fox Theatre, Inc. Adina Erwin. "Historic preservation will mobilize greater economic development through the positive rehabilitation of our partner theaters. By increasing our financial commitments to historic preservation and implementation of specialized grant categories, we hope to make this our most impactful year for the Fox Theatre Institute."

The 2017-18 FTI Grant Recipients are as follows:

FTI Preservation Grant: Also known as the 'brick and mortar' grant, this annual grant assists theaters in completing projects that directly affect the integrity of the building or structure itself.

Averitt Center for the Arts (Statesboro), Amount to receive: $18,819 - The Averitt Center for the Arts provides an array of dance, theater, music and visual arts. FTI financial assistance will support the instillation of necessary lighting upgrades to the Emma Kelly Theatre. The Emma Kelly Theatre is part of the larger Averitt Center for the Arts complex in historic downtown Statesboro.

Colquitt County Arts Center (Moultrie), Amount to receive: $14,640 - Colquitt County Arts Center was transformed from the old Moultrie High School and currently provides visual and performing arts to Moultrie. With the FTI grant, the historic theater will assist with the upgrading of light and sound equipment to enhance the patron experience. This is the first FTI grant for Colquitt County Arts Center.

Dixie Theatre (Swainsboro), Amount to receive: $61,576 - First opened to the public in 1934, the FTI grant will support the Dixie Theatre's economic development project allowing for repairs to the stucco and historic plaster, window and door instillation, as well as other important rehabilitation steps in their long-term commitment to preserving the community landmark.

Imperial Theatre (Augusta), Amount to receive: $25,000 - The Imperial Theatre is a 853-seat theater that opened nearly 100 years ago. The Imperial Theatre will utilize the FTI grant to repair the historic plaster within the interior of the theatre. This is the second FTI grant the Imperial Theatre has received.

Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (Madison), Amount to receive: $16,195 - Madison-Morgan Cultural Center offers performing and visual arts in the heart of the historic district of Madison. FTI financial assistance will support the repair and replacement of the seating fabric within the theater to improve the patron experience in the auditorium. This is the second FTI grant Madison-Morgan Cultural Center has received.

7 Stages (Atlanta), Amount to receive: $50,000 - 7 Stages is a nonprofit theater that hosts a range of shows on two stages in Atlanta's Little 5 Points area. 7 Stages shares an ongoing commitment of historic preservation in the diverse, growing theater community in the heart of Atlanta. The FTI grant will help to restore the marquee and support necessary HVAC and system repairs.

Tift Theatre (Tifton), Amount to receive: $77,027 - Tift Theatre opened in 1937 with the premiere performance of "Pennies From Heaven." The Tift Theatre will utilize its first grant from FTI to repair and restore the interior seating of the theater. The grant to Tift Theatre is FTI's largest single-amount grant awarded in the history of the program.

Winterville Auditorium (Winterville), Amount to receive: $55,476 - The Winterville Auditorium is a defining community landmark in Winterville, Georgia. The Winterville Auditorium will receive necessary funding to install new sound and lighting systems as well as other support systems for its ongoing historic theatre rehabilitation efforts. This is the first major grant Winterville Auditorium will receive from a private organization.

FTI Historic Structures Studies or Planning Grant: Recipients will receive support to complete a historic structure study or assistance in planning. Additionally, FTI will provide guidance on the study, including implementation process planning and securing project experts.

Festival Hall (Greensboro), Amount to receive: $1,250 - Festival Hall is a performing and visual arts facility in historic downtown Greensboro. FTI funds will secure consulting services to assess and support necessary additional space planning for the historic auditorium. Festival Hall previously received Urgent/Emergency Grant funds from FTI.

Grove Theatre (Atlanta), Amount to receive: $20,000 - The Grove Theatre is part of the development project of the Grove Park Foundation for the City of Atlanta. FTI funds will support the services of a specialized historic preservation architectural firm to perform feasibility studies for the Grove Theatre.

Habersham Community Theatre (Clarkesville), Amount to receive: $3,900 - Habersham Community Theatre showcases a variety of shows ranging from children productions to dinner theater performances. Partners at the Habersham Community Theatre will utilize FTI grant funding to pursue an architectural study. The architectural study will determine the repairs needed to restore the historic marquee. Additionally, the study will identify needed stucco repairs and façade restoration.

Royal Theatre (Hogansville), Amount to receive: $29,125 - Constructed in 1937, the historic Royal Theatre has functioned as Hogansville's City Hall since 1980. With the financial support of the FTI grant, the Royal Theatre will move forward with architectural planning to support ongoing preservation efforts.

FTI Periodic Technical Assistance and Services Grant: - Recipients will receive direct access to experts and resources to meet a range of specific technical, organizational or operational needs.

Grand Opera House (Macon), Amount to receive: $23,500 - The Grand Opera house is a prominent architectural and community landmark of downtown Macon. With the FTI grant, the Grand Opera House will pursue a comprehensive historic assets study. The study will explore if the venue's second balcony, an intact and historic African-American seating section, could be expanded. This would turn the Grand Opera House into an over 1,200-seat venue.

"It is such an honor to support these historic theaters beyond the much needed financial assistance. The Fox Theatre Institute offers others a successful model on how to thrive as a historical theater and an active entertainment destination," said Leigh Burns, director of the Fox Theatre Institute. "This is a grant program is singular to itself. It is unlike any other, in that it is solely invested in preserving theaters and structures to ensure a positive economic development. I'm excited to see how these organizations will serve as a catalyst to positively impact the financial revenue of the surrounding community as well as grow access to the performing arts."

Since the launch of FTI in 2008, the Fox Theatre has committed more than $1 million to the overall program, including 'Fox in a Box,' a free interactive curriculum-based resource for area elementary schools; Georgia Presenters, an innovative statewide talent booking consortium; and Preservation Grants to encourage preservation of historic theatres with outside funding not readily available elsewhere.

For more information, visit

The Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) is a dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the region. Created by Atlanta's Fox Theatre, an iconic attraction widely applauded for being a catalyst for positive change in the community, FTI pays it forward, helping other cultural institutions renew, reinvigorate and restore artistic vitality in their backyards and beyond. Keeping environmental and economic impact top of mind, FTI offers the financial assistance, restoration support and operations mentoring needed to leverage scarce resources and stimulate local economies. Not only that, but it keeps the artistic pulse of beloved communities beating for decades to come. FTI was recently featured on NPR's Marketplace for its substantial impact on historical theatre restoration and community building throughout Georgia and the Southeast. For more information, visit and please stay connected on Facebook.

The Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta's premier venues for live entertainment and declared a "Top Stop of the Decade" by Venues Today Magazine. Listed as #1 non-residency venue worldwide for the decade by Billboard Magazine, the Fox most recently won 2017's "Theatre of the Year" by the International Entertainment Buyers Association. Other notable achievements include Rolling Stone Magazine's "The Best Big Rooms in America" as part of their "Venues That Rock" series (2013), nominated for Theatre of the Year by Billboard and Pollstar Magazines, and awarded the 2011 Outstanding Historic Theatre of the Year award by the League of Historic American Theatres. For the past decade, the Fox Theatre has consistently ranked in the top three non-residency theatres in North America for gross ticket sales by industry trade magazines, Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today. The Fox Theatre has the #1 social media presence for any theatre or performing arts center in North America (2,000-5,000 seats), and for any Georgia venue according to the "Social Media Power 100" compiled by Venues Today Magazine. With 4,665 seat theatre, the Fox hosts 250 performances a year, from rock concerts to Broadway, ballets, comedy and movies, attracting 500,000 visitors per year. In addition, the Fox hosts wedding receptions, trade shows, corporate meetings and association functions in its fabulous ballrooms, lounge and outdoor terrace. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, the Fox Theatre stands today as a fiercely protected landmark and a nationally acclaimed theater and is celebrating its 88th year. The Fox Theatre proudly acknowledges its partners for their generous support: Coca-Cola, Lexus, Georgian Terrace Hotel, Georgia Natural Gas, Atlanta Beverage- Budweiser, Regions, Grady Health Systems, and Whole Foods Market.

Tickets for all events are available at the Fox Theatre Ticket Office, online at, or toll free at 855-285-8499. For group sales information contact the Fox Theatre at (404) 881-2000, or visit The Fox Theatre website at Please stay connected with the Fox Theatre on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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