Cygnet Theatre Receives James Irvine Foundation Grant

The $187,000 award will support a military outreach initiative at the theatre.

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.: Cygnet Theatre has received a grant in the amount of $187,000 from the James Irvine Foundation’s Exploring Engagement Fund, the theatre company announced. The two-year grant will go towards the research and implementation of a military outreach initiative for low-income military personnel and veterans in the San Diego area.

“We are pleased to be recognized by the Irvine Foundation again and grateful for the support to explore solutions to increasing theatre participation by the military community,” Cygnet executive director Bill Schmidt said in a statement.

While Cygnet currently has limited participation from the military community, it became a Blue Star Theatre in February 2015, offering discount tickets for active duty military, veterans, and their families. In September 2015, Cygnet launched the Seats for Soldiers program, which gives patrons the option of subsidizing discount tickets so members of the Armed Forces and their families can attend performances for free. Cygnet held the first Military Appreciation Night on Nov. 28, 2015, and the evening featured family activities, free refreshments, caroling, and interaction between production cast members and attendees.

This latest grant will support an initiative, which will feature interactive theatre workshops and bring touring productions to site-specific locations where military members and their families are located.

“This grant puts us in a position to expand upon these programs and serve the diversity of our community,” Schmidt said in a statement. “If Cygnet is going to see more widespread, sustained interaction with the military community, we need to take a chance on bigger, more experimental methods of engagement.”

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