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BLT gets arts grant, launches funding campaign

Brookhaven Little Theatre has been awarded a Mississippi Arts Commission grant and has also launched a campaign to raise still-needed funding.

MAC awarded a $14,900 grant to BLT as part of the $1.3 million in grants the commission will award in 2020-2021, made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant will used to accomplish the theatre’s mission to expose the Brookhaven region to high quality performing arts programs, BLT Managing Artistic Director Emily Waterloo said.

“At a time when the arts community is still very much reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are truly delighted to be able to provide these funds to worthy organizations across the state,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “We applaud and are proud to support the efforts these organizations have made to keep the arts alive in their communities.”

BLT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1968 and is the longest continuously running community theatre in the state of Mississippi. BLT offers a variety of plays, musicals, performing arts classes, camps, workshops, special events and music festivals.

“We are once again filled with so much gratitude to receive this funding, and we plan to announce a conservative plan to welcome our actors, volunteers and patrons back to the theatre very soon,” said Waterloo.

“The theatre’s 53rd season was brought to a sudden mid-year halt and plans for our 54th season of performances, concerts, classes and camps have been on hold due to the COVID-19 Crisis. The pandemic has greatly affected our outreach to the community that we love and miss so much,” Waterloo said. “Our focus, much like most other organizations right now, is to survive and then to thrive on the other side this. We need our community’s support now more than ever. The theatre’s doors have been closed and seats empty since completion of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ back in February. A GoFundMe has been set up for Brookhaven Little Theatre with a goal of raising $25,000 to help our wonderful community theatre safely return to the stage stronger than ever before. And as we say in theatre, ‘The show must go on!’”

Donations to BLT’s GoFundMe campaign can be made at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/bltcovidcrisisfundraiser or through the link on BLT’s Facebook page. Donations can also be mailed to BLT COVID Crisis Fundraiser, P. O. Box 943, Brookhaven, MS 39602.

For more information on BLT visit haventheatre.org. For more information on MAC, contact Communications Director Anna Ehrgott at 601-359-6546 or aehrgott@arts.ms.gov.