The vision for DeKalb’s Egyptian Theatre since it was saved from being demolished in the late 1970’s has been a community-based one. The success of the Egyptian Theatre has continually been embraced by both the arts community and by the people of DeKalb County.
Since 2006 the theatre has maintained the same rental rates for using the theatre. As operation expenses continue to rise the theatre has become more creative in ways to raise the necessary funds to keep the theatre open and operating. Keeping the theatre accessible for the community to use has been one of the top priorities. So the Board of Directors and staff have worked hard to try and keep the burden of increased expenses off of the community groups that rent the theatre.
“We have actually added non-profit discounts and multi-day rental discounts in recent years to assist local groups even further,” stated Board President Ryan Weckerly. Since 2006 the amount of community groups that utilize the theatre has grown every single year with more than 25 community groups currently using the theatre.
The mission of the Egyptian Theatre is “To share and protect the historical integrity of the theatre as a regional arts center for entertainment and community involvement.” In furthering this mission the theatre is excited to announce a brand new program which launched this fall. To help make the theatre accessible to even more community groups to rent they have created the Egyptian Theatre Community Grant Program. These grants are available to assist with the rental cost of the theatre for non-profits located within DeKalb County.
Awarded grant amounts will typically range from $250-$1,500 for an event and will be given as a credit for rental of the theatre for a specific event. Since this grant program is new there are special deadlines that will apply for the 2012-2013 season only. The grant application and guidelines are all online through the Egyptian Theatre website at www.egyptiantheatre.org/community-grants. Grant applications are due prior to receiving a rental contract. This allows groups to find out what grant amount they might receive before committing to renting the theatre. Organizations may apply for more than one grant in a year but priority will be given to organizations that have not yet received a grant in that year.
“We are very excited about this new program and hope that it will be a way for even more community groups to utilize this fantastic venue,” stated Executive Director Alex Nerad.
Any non-profit organization in DeKalb County is encouraged to apply for the grant. Groups that haven’t utilized the theatre for their events before are encouraged to contact the theatre to discuss how their event can be most successful at the Egyptian Theatre. Events in recent years have ranged from theatre productions, concerts, dance performances, films, athletic events, art shows, graduations, receptions, meetings and more.
Through the continued support of the community and the City of DeKalb the theatre has been able to make significant improvements over the past few years. These improvements now position the theatre to be able to accommodate nearly any type of event. Brand new theatre seats, lighting system, sound system, Wi-Fi access throughout the building and a recent renovation of the dressing rooms are just a number of the reasons that the theatre is perfect to host your next event.
The Egyptian Theatre has been operated and maintained by the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre, Inc. since 1978. The Egyptian Theatre is located at 135 N. Second Street in Downtown DeKalb, IL.