WILMINGTON — Annually, Cape Fear Community College and the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County open grants for underserved populations to receive free tickets to Broadway-touring shows at downtown’s Wilson Center.
The 2022 grant cycle is now open for the Broadway for a Better World program; area nonprofits can apply through Jan. 10, 2022. Each year since the program began in 2018, organizations receive tickets to give away to the community members it works with. Around 1,184 tickets have been handed out to 15 or so nonprofits and 475 to CFCC students, totaling over $130,000 in private donor funds.
Former grantees are welcome to reapply. The tickets are good for Wilson Center’s Broadway theater series and Star series, featuring national music and comedy tours, as well as MOVE! dance series.
“We have more than $50,000 available for tickets and will be raising more funds in the coming months,” according to Sonya Johnson, spokesperson for CFCC.
Nonprofits that are approved receive 20 tickets and can decide up to three shows they’d like to attend. Johnson said since the beginning of the program, “all qualifying organizations have been able to get the maximum number of tickets and either their first or second choice of shows.”
While tickets are available to organizations that serve all ages, many benefit at-risk youth under 18. Past organizations to receive them include the Brigade Boys & Girls Club, DisAbility Resource Center, Domestic Violence Shelter & Services, Elderhaus PACE, Firefighters’ Burned Children Fund of Coastal Carolina, Good Shepherd Center, Open House Youth Shelter of Coastal Horizons, StepUp Wilmington, Theatre for All, Volunteer Older Citizens Action League (VOCAL), and DREAMS Center for Arts Education.
“These experiences are too often outside the financial reach of many of our culturally-minded students and families,” said Amy Jeffrey, interim executive director for DREAMS. “Opportunities such as this initiative provides are critical aspects of creating equitable access to the arts and quite often put young people on new and exciting career paths.”
The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County administer the program and recipients are selected by an independent committee. The cycle opens twice annually, in fall and spring and average 40 applications per year.
“The impact of the live theater experience is both immediate and long-lasting, and Broadway for a Better World is a model of hope and opportunity for the most marginalized in our community,” the arts council executive director Rhonda Bellamy said in the release.
Broadway for a Better World is open to nonprofit organizations in both New Hanover and Pender counties.
“This program is a powerful example of what can happen when a community works together to help others,” CFCC’s president, Jim Morton, added.
More information about Broadway for a Better World’s mission or to apply can be found at www.wilsoncentertickets.com/betterworld.
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