LJCC Theater program lands major grants

Last week The J received notification that the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation has awarded the LJCC Theater program $20,000. The money comes on the heels of a $5,000 grant from the Altec-Styslinger Foundation received in the spring that will fund program expansion while also supporting underserved communities.

But that’s not all, as the Goodrich Foundation grant in turn unlocks the first half of $30,000 in “challenge” funding from The Daniel Foundation, bringing this year’s total grant amount for theater funding to $40,000 (the second $15,000 Daniel Foundation block will be released once The J secures at least that much in grants from community sources in 2024).

Facilities and expertise

The funding couldn’t come at a better time as The J continues to ramp up efforts to relaunch what had been a robust youth theater program before the pandemic shut it down. The new grants will help fund recruitment efforts in nearby neighborhoods and schools while also offering need-based fee waivers and reductions to qualifying students. 

The combined funds will also support the costs of producing 2023 performances, purchasing important equipment that will be used for years to come, further increasing program accessibility through the availability of scholarship funds, and bringing the program much-needed expertise. 

The expert who is spearheading LJCC Theater is longtime theater professional Jill Marlar. 

“Community theater is a place that gives us all the chance to begin again, to look at life from different perspectives, and to know that we are never alone,” says Jill. And in a town that hosts many dedicated theater programs, Jill is helping Theater LJCC stand out with its commitment to be open to kids of all abilities and — with its generous scholarship program — financial means.

“I’m just here for the magic of it all and honored to help guide,” Jill says. 

A line of children on a stage perform songs as part of a camp theater class.
The J’s Pizitz Auditorium was most recently used by Camp LJCC participants who took Jill Marlar’s Showstoppers specialty camp. Part of the $40,000 in new grants will be used to purchase much-needed theater-related equipment and improve the facility.

Be on the lookout for another round of youth auditions in August for the upcoming production of Xanadu JR