ABC of NC and University of Mount Olive Named 2019 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant Recipients

February 19, 2019

Life skills clinic and a black box theatre will connect two communities to opportunity

February 19, 2019

Raleigh, NC — The John William Pope Foundation Board of Directors has announced the recipients of a statewide competitive grant program. ABC of NC, a Winston-Salem autism spectrum disorder (ASD) services provider, and The University of Mount Olive, a private liberal arts institution in eastern North Carolina, have each received a $100,000 grant through the annual Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants in Arts and Human Services.

ABC of NC will use the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services to support a groundbreaking life skills center in their new SECU Autism Clinic.  The Joy W. Pope Life Skills Center will feature job skill training labs; a coffee café; and a mock grocery store, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, hair salon and apartment/hotel room. The Center will be available to ASD clients ages 16 months to 21 years for realistic skill building, opening windows of opportunity for both children and families. Other corporate support for the Joy W. Pope Life Skills Center includes Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Great Clips, Daly Hotel Management, Dewey’s Bakery, Food Lion and Spangler, Rohlfing & Lambert Pediatric Dentistry. ABC of NC expects the Center to be fully operational this year. For more information visit www.abcofnc.org.

The University of Mount Olive will use the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Arts for a black box theatre project in downtown Mount Olive.  In June 2018, the University acquired the former Glenn-Martin Drug Store, which closed in 2009 after 70 years of business, and is planning a full renovation of the space. The 6,785 square-foot building will house classrooms, performance space, offices, set and prop storage, dressing rooms and meeting areas. Proposed uses include space for theatrical, dance, and musical classes and performances, social gatherings, summer camps, movie showings and more. The theatre will be the only performance space in the town and will be used by both students and residents.  The University expects the theatre to open its doors this year.  For more information visit www.umo.org.

“Our board was presented with more than 100 applications from nonprofits across the state, making this a difficult choice,” said Pope Foundation Chairman Art Pope.  “Ultimately we selected two organizations that will use innovative means to expand critical opportunities for the people and communities they serve. That’s the spirit of this award and a great compliment to the 84 other community nonprofits we supported through grants this fall and winter.”

The Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant Program was introduced in 2016 to recognize innovative projects and ideas from across the state. Each year, over 75 organizations apply to receive the one-time grant.  Previous recipients include Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (Fayetteville), Safelight (Hendersonville), Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center (Robbinsville), Wesley Shelter (Wilson), Stokes County Arts Council (Danbury) and Haywood Pathways Center (Waynesville).

Including the Joy W. Pope grant program, the Foundation issued nearly $3.5 million in grants in fall 2018.  Since 1986, the Pope Foundation has given more than $155 million.  For more information visit www.jwpf.org.

ABC of NC's one-of-a-kind Joy W. Pope Life Skills Center will offer new ways of learning to clients with autism spectrum disorder.
ABC of NC’s one-of-a-kind Joy W. Pope Life Skills Center will offer new ways of learning to clients with autism spectrum disorder.
With the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Arts, The University of Mount Olive will transform this former drugstore into a black box theatre.
With the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Arts, The University of Mount Olive will transform this former drugstore into a black box theatre.