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

Grant totaling $45,000 will support Stage of Discovery, MLK celebration, Juneteenth Arts Festival, and arts organization's two major fundraisers.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
Community Foundation Of Sarasota County Continues Strategic Partnership With Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

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

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has received a Strategic Partnership Grant of $45,000 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 2”; $10,000 for WBTT's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; $5,000 for the Juneteenth Arts Festival; 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 that continues to be 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 Juneteenth Arts Festival, which debuted the summer of 2023, featured numerous Black-owned and benefiting businesses, organizations and food vendors, film screenings, spoken word and live music; the 2024 festival is in the planning stages. The annual celebration of Dr. King features re-enactments of Dr. King's speeches, song and dance.
The Community Foundation-supported events take place on the following dates this year: Groovin' on the Soul Train 2 (took place in November 2023); Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Celebrating His Legacy, January 14, 2024 (Sarasota Opera House); April Fools Fête, April 1, 2024 (Michael's On East); and Juneteenth Arts Festival, June 16, 2024 (WBTT campus).

“This generous support affirms the foundation's continued confidence in us as a unique and vital part of Sarasota's arts community,” said WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach. “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 as well as providing a stage and training for aspiring artists of color, of all ages. We are grateful 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 Leslie and Margaret Weller Fund, Zella I. and Junius F. Allen Fund, Francis Wormser Founders Fund, Allen Wirtz Nobbe and Jo Bowen Nobbe Fund, and the George J. & Alice Pugh Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

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

PHOTO ID: Funding from Community Foundation of Sarasota County will support WBTT's Stage of Discovery summer youth training program, among other efforts
Photo by Sorcha Augustine

The mission of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe 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. Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.

About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $460 million in more than 1,570 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $45.3 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $396 million to area nonprofit organizations in our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.




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