LENOX, MA (February 15, 2022) — WAM Theatre is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. WAM is recommended to receive $50,000 and may use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.
“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as WAM Theatre, rebuild,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”
“WAM is both excited and humbled to be a recipient of NEA American Rescue Plan funding,” said Wendy Healey, WAM Theatre Board President. “It shows just how important our mission of using theatre as activism to improve the lives of women and girls is. With the help of this funding we will be able to continue making theatre for our community, telling women’s stories, and supporting women’s organizations.”
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.
“WAM is grateful to be one of sixteen Massachusetts arts organizations to receive this support from the NEA,” said Molly Merrihew, WAM Theatre Managing Director. “The ongoing pandemic has introduced many new costs for theatre makers, and this special funding will help support our wonderful year-round staff who make all that we do possible.”
For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit http://www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.
For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com
WAM THEATRE SUPPORT
WAM Theatre is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act for the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, WAM was recommended for an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
WAM’s sponsors include Adams Community Bank, Blue Q., Berkshire Roots, Blue Spark Financial, Downright Pro, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Garden Gables Inn, Guidos Fresh Marketplace, Health Profesisonal Coaching, Heller & Robbins Attorneys at Law, Interprint, Only in my Dreams Events, Onyx Specialty Papers, Outpost Productions, Prix Fixe, RB Design Co., T Square Design Studio, Toole Insurance, a. von schlegell & co, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.
WAM Theatre’s 2022 Season is also supported in part by grants from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), Mass Humanities, Lee Bank Foundation, Scarlet Sock Foundation and U.S. Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant; as well as grants from the Dalton Cultural Council, Lee Cultural Council, Lenox Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cultural Council, Northern Berkshire Cultural Council, Otis Cultural Council, Sandisfield Cultural Council, and Washington Cultural Council.
ABOUT WAM THEATRE
WAM Theatre is a professional theatre company based in Berkshire County, MA, that operates at the intersection of arts and activism. WAM creates theatre for gender equity and has a vision of theatre as philanthropy.
In fulfillment of its philanthropic mission, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from their Mainstage productions to carefully selected beneficiaries. Since WAM’s founding in 2010, they have donated more than $80,000 to 23 local and global organizations taking action for gender equity in areas such as girls education, teen pregnancy prevention, sexual trafficking awareness, midwife training, and more.
In addition to Mainstage productions and special events, WAM’s activities include innovative community engagement programs and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. To date, WAM has provided paid work to more than 500 theatre artists, the majority of whom are female-identifying.
As a civic organization that embraces intersectional feminism (feminism that acknowledges how multiple forms of discrimination overlap), WAM understands that to address one piece of systemic discrimination means we have to address them all. This is on-going personal and professional work at WAM for the staff and board, detailed in their recently released accountability plan.
WAM Theatre has been widely recognized for having a positive impact on cultural and community development in the region. WAM is the recipient of the Creative Economy Standout Berkshire Trendsetter Award and previously, was named Outstanding Philanthropy Corporation of the Year by the Western MA Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM’s Producing Artistic Director, was honored by the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association (BTCA) with the prestigious Larry Murray Award, presented at the discretion of the BTCA Board to a person or theatre project that advances social, political, or community issues in Berkshire County.
For more information, visit www.wamtheatre.com