Raleigh Little Theatre Awarded 2021 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants in the Arts

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Facilities project will improve access and opportunity.


Today, the John William Pope Foundation announced it had awarded Raleigh Little Theatre a $100,000 grant through its annual Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants Program in the Arts.

Raleigh Little Theatre will use the funds to renovate the restrooms adjacent to the Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. These restrooms also serve the outdoor Louise “Scottie” Stephenson Amphitheatre. The renovations will improve accessibility for patrons, theatre classes and volunteers as the theatre aims to reopen performances later this year. Founded in 1936, Raleigh Little Theatre is one of the oldest, continuously operating community theatres in the United States. The theatre offers entertainment, education and community programs and reaches over 40,000 people each year.

“At a time when budgets are extremely tight and so many things are on hold, it feels good to still be able to move forward on some important and necessary projects, especially when that means continuing to make RLT more accessible,” said Heather Strickland, RLT’s executive director. “We are incredibly grateful to the Pope Foundation for this dedicated funding to renovate and improve accessibility in the Sutton Theatre restrooms.”

“Supporting the arts means supporting the facilities that make the arts possible,” said John William Pope Foundation Chairman Art Pope. “The Pope Foundation is pleased to support something as mundane, but necessary, as updating and expanding the RLT bathrooms so that RLT can continue to serve all in our community in safe, healthy, and equitable facilities.”

Last month, the Pope Foundation announced that The Green Chair Project and NAMI North Carolina each received a $50,000 grant through the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services. You can read more about those awards here. Established in 2015, the annual Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant Program has awarded more than $1 million in project funds to organizations across the state. Each September, more than 50 nonprofits submit applications for consideration.

The John William Pope Foundation is a Raleigh-based private grantmaker. The foundation invests in North Carolinians’ well-being by supporting nonprofits promoting individual freedom, personal responsibility, and strong communities. The Pope Foundation receives its support from the Pope Family, owners and operators of Variety Wholesalers, Inc., based in Henderson.



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