Plowshares Theatre Company Receives $33,000 From Community Foundation For Southeastern Michigan

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Plowshares Theatre Company Receives $33,000 From Community Foundation For Southeastern Michigan

Because of the coronavirus, Plowshares Theatre Company was forced to cancel the remainder of its 2020 performance season a week before it was scheduled to go into rehearsal for the world premiere production of ROOST. The cancellation of the show and other programming has the potential to cost the theatre as much as $200,000 in revenue - depending on the demand for refunds vs. ticket cost donations - and will likely put Plowshares in the red for this fiscal year.

But then came a message of support from the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan.

In her email, Senior Program Officer Kamilah Henderson stated: "We received word from our Board that Plowshares is awarded an emergency grant in the amount of $33,000. Originally, your project design had a programmatic focus. Now it may be used flexibly, in response to the public health crisis."

This was wonderful news.

"While our prior fiscal health has put us in a less dire situation than it could be, our ability to raise funds from generous supporters is going to be critical to the long-term survival of our company," said Gary Anderson, Plowshares' Producing Artistic Director. "While we are working on securing available grant and loan funding, and working to rally support through the upcoming fiscal year we are also trying to figure out how we can transition our operations in order to continue our impact and reach throughout the community. We are hoping a Giving Challenge - with the boost from our match - will help to get us through the worst of this crisis until the day when we can resume our traditional activities."

Plowshares Theatre Company, the only professional African American theater company in Michigan, was thrilled to receive an Emergency Grant for losses related to COVID-19 $33,000 from Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. Plowshares was one of this region's signature arts organizations to receive funding to assist arts and cultural organizations hit the hardest due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

The funding is providing much-needed cash flow for Plowshares as well as helping Plowshares shift its operations with regard to keeping its play development and audience enrichment programming efforts strong and available through virtual means until a return to a traditional live format is possible and safe. Plowshares is proud that, even with the significant financial hit the organization has suffered in the wake of the cancellation of the majority of its 2020 performance season, it has been able to move forward on programming initiatives.

"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 support including the emergency grant from the Community Foundation are helping us to get through this crisis as well as affirming as Plowshares as a valuable asset to the community. That is equally important as the funds, themselves."

Plowshares 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. Plowshares was also elated to have raised more than $3,000 during the recent 2020 Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, out of nearly 700 participating nonprofit organizations.

The highly-anticipated Plowshares original musical "Hastings Street" - which was scheduled to open in September-October 2020 - has been slotted into the 2021-22 main stage season. The regular season shows, running from October 7, 2020, through June 6, 2021, will now be reworked and rescheduled for February-March 2021 through June 12, 2022.

Plowshares is posting updates on its website: plowsharestheatre.org.


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