Local theater receives $15k state grant

By: Mike Koury | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published November 20, 2015


WEST BLOOMFIELD — A West Bloomfield theater has received a $15,000 grant from the state of Michigan for its general operating budget.

The Jewish Ensemble Theatre, 6600 W. Maple Road, was awarded the grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as one of more than 550 applicants for a grant.

Jewish Ensemble Theatre Development Director Linda Ramsay-Detherage said the grant was one the theater had to match, meaning it had to prove it could generate $15,000, which it already has done.

The nonprofit, now in its 27th year, will use the money to help put on its play about Anne Frank, pay its actors and build sets, as well as for its Youth Education Services outreach program, which puts on productions for students, such as anti-bullying shows.

“That’s a big part of what we do,” she said.

Ramsay-Detherage said obtaining grant money such as this is becoming harder as more theaters and arts programs are popping up in the area.

Chad Badgero, arts education program manager for MCACA, said about 480 programs received funding this year, which can be anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. Programs are scored based on their applications, and if they rate high enough, they move forward to be recommended to receive a grant.

This year, $9.7 million was available in funding from MCACA, Badgero said, which comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the state budget.

Ramsay-Detherage said that from the productions to the outreach program, things can get pricey, which is why obtaining grants such as this one helps a lot.

“It’s becoming more and more competitive,” she said. “There’s more people every year … wanting a piece of whatever funding MCACA has available.

“These grants (have) become more and more competitive. So we’re very pleased to be part of that group that was awarded this year.”