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Pearl Theater lands $20,000 grant

July 21, 2023

The board of the Historic Pearl Theater is thrilled to announce that they are recipients of a $20,000 grant from Innovia and the Equinox Foundation for the purpose of expanding artistic impact in Boundary County for the 2023-24 season. As an historic performing arts venue, the Pearl supports the arts by engaging emerging artists and bringing well-known performers to Bonners Ferry.

As a community center, the Pearl builds social connections across many art forms, especially the youth-led outreach committee, which plans and hosts shows, classes and activities specifically for local young people. As a rental venue, The Pearl supports the community by offering free or by-donation meeting space as well as hosting private events such as weddings, funeral receptions, birthday and anniversary parties and family reunions, which help fund the Pearl's basic operating costs.

When you put these things together, it's easy to see how the Pearl's 2022-23 season had a total engagement of over 3,000 people! During this period, the Pearl had to turn down numerous rental and booking requests due to a lack of volunteers or venue availability.

"Our goal is for there to be something happening at The Pearl every day of the week, whether it's a free event like Book Club or Tarot and Tea, a ticketed event like a comedy show, or a private event," said board member Jessica Tingley. "We made so much progress in the last season, and turning opportunities away was hard, especially when there is so much artistic talent in our community that we really want to support. This grant will enable us to support new programming for the upcoming season without taking away support for existing programs that are still growing."

The news of the grant funding comes while the theater is on a summer break and addressing overdue updates and repairs.

"This grant won't fix the balcony or add air conditioning, or get the building painted, which are all things we get regular feedback on," Jessica explained. "But we hope it reminds people that even if the paint is peeling on the outside, inside the Pearl is a magical place. We're continually evolving to meet the needs of the community and we want this news to inspire people to become members, make a donation, volunteer or come to a show."

The grant funds will be used to hire a program director to manage the scheduling and volunteers, and increase youth outreach activities such as the Holiday Market. Family-friendly movies will be shown for free each week and new programs will include yoga, an adult dance class and art exhibits featuring local artists and makers.

The Pearl's board of directors gratefully acknowledges the efforts of the dedicated volunteers who put in countless hours researching, collecting data and meeting with members of the community in order to support this grant proposal.

The Pearl Theater will reopen September 7; visit www.thehistoricpearltheater.org for a list of events and sign up for the monthly newsletter!

The Pearl Theater is a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are tax deductible.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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