Local community theaters among those to receive state arts and culture grants

Nearly 500 community arts groups and cultural institutions throughout the state have been named recipients of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) grants, and a large number of them located within the greater Detroit metropolitan region.

Over the course of the 2017 and '18 fiscal year, 474 organizations will split $10.6 million in grants. 56 of the state's 83 counties are represented, with Wayne County benefitting quite heavily. Oakland and Macomb counties are represented as well. Organizations include schools, festivals, museums, historical societies, and much more.

Represented well in each of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties are community theaters. Tipping Point Theatre, located in downtown Northville, is the recipient of two grants, one listed at $53,091 and the other at $15,000. Dan Ferrara, the theater's Director of Development, says that the money will go toward operational costs as well as updated and energy efficient lighting equipment.

"As a non-profit arts organization, the MCACA support is critical to our success and our impact on the community. We employ over 90 Michigan artists each year and our ticket-holders spend nearly a half-million dollars each season at surrounding businesses before and after performances," says Ferrara. "By helping us succeed, MCACA is supporting not only local arts, but the local economy."

This is the first year that Open Book Theatre Company was eligible for an operational grant from MCACA, and the Trenton theater successfully secured $11,250 for the upcoming fiscal year. Krista Schafer Ewbank, Artistic Director at Open Book, says she's thrilled.

"A grant from MCACA helps more than just financially; it's a recognition of the importance of the work we do bringing professional theatre to our community Downriver and lends credibility to our organization as we seek support from other avenues," says Schafer Ewbank. "The grant will help us pay both artistic and administrative staff, as well as the expenses that come with running a theatre, everything from paying the electric bill to buying toilet paper."

Click here for a full list of this year's MCACA grant recipients.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.