Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Ozark Actors Theatre receives $250 community grant for summer theatre academy

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Ozark Actors Theatre a $250 grant for its summer theatre academy. The check was presented at MRCF’s invite-a-friend luncheon March 12 at MRPC in St. James. This year, the MRCF board reviewed a total of 18 grant applications, requesting a total of $4,414.21 and representing projects in Crawford, Dent, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Ozark Actors Theatre, Rolla, was one of six projects selected for funding.

Ozark Actors Theatre has served as the Meramec Region’s only equity-endorsed, non-profit performing arts center for over 30 years. The summer theatre academy’s most important goals are to introduce children to the performing arts, give young artists and performers a starting point for honing their skills and empower them to seize future opportunities. The MRCF grant funds received will go toward helping subsidize the cost of the summer program, “Broadway Beginnings Workshop,” which costs roughly $6,000.

“Ozark Actors Theatre is honored to receive this grant,” Ozark Actors Theatre Director Laura Light said. “The funds will be used to provide a scholarship for a student to attend our Summer Theatre Academy, Broadway Beginnings.  We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity for someone who may, otherwise, never get the chance to experience the joy of learning about the performing arts or have the opportunity to perform on stage.  Providing theatre educational opportunities is a part of our mission.  We want to thank MRCF for helping us in fulfilling that mission”

Other recipients, receiving $250, include:

  • Osage County R-I at Chamois for its Pirate Tinkerlab, 
  • Belle Elementary for its emergency coats and shoes program, 
  • Meramec Community Enhancement Corporation on behalf of Duke Rural Fire Department for a new building,
  • Richwoods R-VII for its after school snack program, and 
  • The Bourbon Boosters for ramps to the stage at the park. 

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Lange of Osage County serves as president of MRCF.

Currently, MRCF has 54 funds totaling over $2.83 million.

CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,700 charitable funds totaling approximately $300 million in assets, as of June 30, 2018. 

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation and providing the initial investment to create a grant program, provides staff support to MRCF. 

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 25 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.


Cutline: Laura Light (left) and Alex Freeman with Ozark Actors Theatre accept the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF Chair Vicki Lange.