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Wilbury Theatre Group Receives Transformative Grant From The Champlin Foundation       


Last June, Wilbury Theatre Group announced the move to the WaterFire Arts Center. 

Wilbury Theatre Group is among The Champlin Foundation's latest round of grantees and has received a grant of $185,745 to fund the build-out of a new performance space at WaterFire Arts Center, including the soundproofing of the flexible black box theater, backstage renovations, and necessary electrical and HVAC modifications. The Champlin Foundation supports the capital needs of Rhode Island non-profits -- funding that is often the hardest to raise. Champlin grants help organizations realize their mission, recognizing those who have the practical vision, track record, and demonstrated capacity to make change in our communities.

"Wilbury Theatre Group's ability to pivot so successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to their resilience and spirit of innovation," said Nina Stack, Executive Director of The Champlin Foundation. "Wilbury's highly collaborative, nurturing approach with smaller partner organizations and artists also allows their work to go farther, and this grant award reflects their ability to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders, through art, in meaningful and sustainable ways."

Josh Short, Artistic Director of Wilbury Theatre Group, explains, "This transformative grant from The Champlin Foundation will allow us to build an inclusive, artistic anchor to serve the Valley and Olneyville neighborhoods, and beyond. It's our goal to make it as easy as possible for anyone to participate in the experience of live theatre. With this new home, and our innovative pay-what-you-can ticketing model, we continue our work of engaging our artists and our community in conversation with thought-provoking theatre."

Milly Massey, Board President of Wilbury Theatre Group, adds, "What defines Wilbury is our shared commitment to collaboration and inclusion. We are thrilled that The Champlin Foundation continues to recognize how The Wilbury Group strives to create 'local and organic' theatrical experiences that enrich our community. This very significant grant will help establish a community-based, fully-professional theater at WaterFire Arts Center."

Last June, Wilbury Theatre Group announced the move to the WaterFire Arts Center. Since the announcement, Wilbury has continued to produce outdoor performances - FringePVD, The Historical Fantasy of Esek Hopkins with Haus of Glitter and Charlie Thurston's new play Lifted. Shey Rivera Ríos' Fire Flowers and a Time Machine (Flores de Fuego y una Máquina del Tiempo) will stream online (December 16 - January 1) with 34 artists reimagining the original production in a virtual space. Andy Russ's new work will debut next January, Shey Rivera Ríos', Antigonx, a Latinx re-envisioning of Sophocles' Antigone, will debut at Wilbury Theatre Group next spring (March 24 - April 10) along with Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (dates TBD).Wilbury Theatre Group Receives Transformative Grant From The Champlin Foundation       

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