Community Foundation Of Sarasota County Cements Strategic Partnership With Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Grant totaling $35,000 will support summer youth training program, MLK Day program, and arts organization's two major fundraisers.

By: Sep. 12, 2022
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Community Foundation Of Sarasota County Cements Strategic Partnership With Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

As Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe prepares for its 2022-2023 programmatic and performance season, it is thrilled to have received a Strategic Partnership Grant of $35,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

The funds are to be allocated as follows: $15,000 for Stage of Discovery; $10,000 for the fall gala, "Groovin' on the Soul Train"; $5,000 for WBTT's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and $5,000 for WBTT's spring fundraiser, the April Fools Fête.

Stage of Discovery, which was first offered during the summer of 2016, is a musical theatre program offered at no cost to the participants. The camp provides weeks of intensive training in singing, acting, dancing and improvisation, and culminates in a full-scale musical production. The Community Foundation-supported events take place on the following dates this year: Groovin' on the Soul Train, November 11, 2022; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Celebrating His Legacy, January 16, 2023; April Fools Fête, April 3, 2023.

"As our organization continues to grow and evolve, our partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is essential in supporting our fundraising efforts, and helping us to achieve our mission of ensuring greater diversity in professional theatre offerings and providing a stage and training for aspiring artists of color, of all ages," said WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach. "This generous support affirms the foundation's continued confidence in us as a unique and important part of Sarasota's arts community. Many thanks to the Community Foundation for its ongoing generous support of WBTT."

Founded in 1999, the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is the only professional black theater company on Florida's West Coast. Its mission is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates African American history and experience, engages a broad base of patrons and audiences, supports the development of a dynamic group of aspiring artists, and builds self-esteem in youth of color.

The grant support was made possible thanks to the Thomas and Lola Seligman Fund, the Frances Wormser Founders Fund, the Leslie and Margaret Weller Fund, and the Allen Wirtz Nobbe and Jo Bowen Nobbe Fund of the Community Foundation.

For more about WBTT, call 941-366-1505 or visit


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