TheatreSquared receives $275,000 grant, announces expansion

TheatreSquared is on fire lately.

The local theatre organization has seen sell-out crowds for its last several productions, increased attendance by more than 180 percent since 2009, and received its first National Endowment for the Arts grant for Sundown Town.

Even more good news came Wednesday.

Artistic director Bob Ford and managing director Martin Miller this week announced that they’ve received a three-year, $275,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation, and that T2 will soon be expanding.

“We are proud and grateful that this community has so strongly endorsed the notion of a home for professional artists in Northwest Arkansas,” said Ford. “The Walton Family Foundation joins a group of indispensable partners who make this remarkable region uniquely suited to a story like ours. For TheatreSquared – and for Northwest Arkansas – the next stage holds great promise.”

The organization will use the resources beginning in the 2011 season for an ongoing awareness and marketing campaign to help build Northwest Arkansas’ audience for professional theatre. A new fellowship program will also be established for distinguished visiting artists to help “deepen the artistic bench” for each production, and T2 also plans to hire a senior level director of advancement.

“A regional theatre stands on three legs,” said Miller, “our audience, our donor base, and – most paramount -the quality of the artistic work. It’s thrilling to be able to announce with confidence today that we have new resource committed to strengthening all three.”