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Lortel Foundation Bestows Small-Theatre Grants

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While unrestricted general operating grants are among the hardest kind of support to find in the not-for-profit sphere, the Lucille Lortel Foundation is continuing its effort to provide that kind of philanthropy to small and midsize theatres.

Indeed, the foundation announced on Fri., Jan. 21, that it had accelerated the timing of its 2005 grants. According to a written statement, earlier grantees "had to wait until April, the end of the season for many of the companies, before receiving the funds." By distributing grants in early January, a modest lift is provided to the organizations that benefit from the foundation's largesse.

James J. Ross, the Lortel Foundation's president, further explained that most grantees "have small staffs which are very busy in the late fall and early spring creating theatre. By rescheduling our grant program, we hope to better serve these organizations at a less busy time of year. We also hope that the earlier receipt of a grant will relieve stress and provide for better planning since a recipient will not have to wait until the end of its season before knowing how much funding it will receive for the following season."

Grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 may be used for any general operating purpose; most are geared toward specific projects. The following is a list of recipients:

The 52nd Street Project, Abingdon Theatre Company, the Acting Company, the Actors Company Theatre (TACT), Amas Musical Theatre, the Aquila Theatre Company, ArtsPower National Touring Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, the Builders Association, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Directors Company, Dixon Place, Drama Dept., Epic Theatre Center, the Flea Theater, Inside Broadway, INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center, the Irish Repertory Theatre, Jean Cocteau Repertory, La MaMa E.T.C., Labyrinth Theatre Company, Mabou Mines, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Ensemble Theater, the Mint Theater Company, New Federal Theatre, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, the Pearl Theatre Company, Pick Up Performance Company, Ping Chong & Company, the Play Company, Primary Stages, P.S. 122, Rattlestick Productions, Repertorio Español, St. Ann's Warehouse, Signature Theatre Company, the SITI Company, the Soho Repertory Theatre, TADA!, Target Margin Theater, Teatro Pregones, Thalia Spanish Theatre, Theater by the Blind, Theater for the New City, Urban Stages, the Vineyard Theatre, Women's Project & Productions, the Wooster Group, the Working Theater, Young Playwrights, and the York Theatre Company.

Fifty-three of the 63 applicants received grants. Eligible applicants must have been in operation as a professional, nonprofit, theatre-producing organization in New York City for at least three years, with revenues of $200,000 to $2.5 million in the most recently completed fiscal year. For more information, visit www.lortel.org.

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