SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has been awarded $500,000 in support of its Heart & Soul capital campaign. The funding came from the Department of State’s 2019-2020 Cultural Facilities Program – which provides matching grants to support capital projects for cultural facilities in Florida – part of the recently signed state budget.
The Heart & Soul campaign has provided the funds to renovate the Binz Building on WBTT’s Orange Avenue campus; the three-story structure is now known as the Education & Outreach Building, housing the administrative offices, box office, rooms for education programs, a library, rehearsal spaces, and a 6,000-square-foot rooftop garden terrace event space for patrons and other community organizations. The parking lot and grounds have enjoyed upgrades as well.
WBTT will soon have a larger theater with comfortable, permanent seating, a larger, more elegant lobby area, upgrades to lighting and sound, a 60-seat second stage, soundproof walls, larger restrooms, and professional backstage areas. Architect for the campus project is C. Alan Anderson Architect, P.A.; Construction Management firm is Willis Smith Construction.
The project must be executed within the grant period of July 1, 2019 – June 1, 2021; the campus renovations at WBTT are scheduled to be completed by December 2019. Its theater season begins with a holiday production at the Sarasota Opera House in December and the four-show mainstage season begins in January 2020 with Caroline, Or Change.
The Heart & Soul capital campaign stands at $7.7 million (of WBTT’s $8 million goal); the organization is currently working to close the campaign, which also includes an endowment to support WBTT into the future. Contact Julie Leach for the remaining gifting opportunities available: 941-366-1505, ext. 103.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. Its mission is to produce professional theater that promotes and celebrates the African-American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African-American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information about WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.