Thursday, September 17, 2020

Steel River Playhouse Gets $25K PA COVID Grant

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by the office of State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-146th Dist.

The Steel River Playhouse on High Street, which just last month cancelled its upcoming season out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic, has received a state grant for $25,000 to help make up for lost revenues.

Part of $20 million in statewide relief funding for cultural organizations and museums to offset lost revenue caused by COVID-19, the Cultural and Museum Preservation grant will assist Steel River with operating expenses after the pandemic cost it more than $138,000 in revenue.

“Steel River Playhouse has been part of Pottstown’s creative and economic revitalization since its inception,” said state Rep. Joe  Ciresi, D-146th Dist., whose office announced the grant award.

Ciresi was on the steering committee for the formation of the theater and has also performed there. 

“In melding the traditions of volunteerism, camaraderie and community theater entertainment, this playhouse has increased community-wide access to the arts, particularly for children with disabilities and those who are generally underserved," said Ciresi.

“Steel River Playhouse is thankful to be included in this round of funding,” said Rita Pederson, the theater’s development director. “Protecting the arts by ensuring we can make it through pandemic closings will be vital to our community’s ability to recover. We are proud to be our community’s theater and can’t wait to welcome audiences again.”

“COVID-19 has hurt so many businesses and organizations across the state and within the 146th Legislative District, and I will continue to fight to help in the recovery efforts for all that need assistance, including our conduits of culture.”

The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the grant, and the program will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Under the program, funds may be used to offset lost revenue for eligible cultural organizations and museums that were subject to closure by the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by the governor on March 6, 2020, and any renewal of the state of disaster emergency and that experienced a loss of revenue related to the closure.

Funds cannot be used to offset revenue, which has already been offset from other sources, including philanthropic and federal, state and local government sources.

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