MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 10, 2014

MLT gets $100K grant for building

Inasmuch Foundation approves funds

Muskogee Little Theatre moved closer to building a bigger theater with help from the Inasmuch Foundation.

The Oklahoma City-based foundation granted MLT $100,000 toward construction of a new performing arts facility. The foundation supports education, health, human services and community enhancement initiatives throughout Oklahoma.

MLT hopes to build a $6.5 million performing arts facility near downtown Muskogee. After receiving a $5.5 million grant from the City of Muskogee Foundation, MLT was challenged to raise the initial $1 million.

“We’re getting very close to fulfilling our goal,” MLT Executive Director Coni Wetz said after hearing of the Inasmuch Foundation grant. “We feel we should be able to break ground within the next six months.”

The community theater’s new 15,020-square-foot facility is to be built on the southeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Third Street. Planners with the Action in Muskogee initiative expect the new theater to anchor an arts and cultural district south of downtown. The new theater would be north of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and west of Three Rivers Museum.

Inasmuch Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Ross said the foundation was “very impressed at the application from Muskogee Little Theatre.”

“And we want to support its mission to provide opportunities and appreciation of the theater and performing arts to the community and the region,” Ross said. “Our grant of $100,000 will support construction of a new performing arts theater to further that goal. We wish them all the best as they continue to grow and celebrate creativity.”

The Inasmuch Foundation announced that it gave a total of $3.75 million in grants to 40 Oklahoma organizations, including MLT. The foundation was established in 1982 by Oklahoma City philanthropist Edith Kinney Gaylord.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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