DeKalb’s Egyptian Theatre awarded $30K grant for operations

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DeKALB – The Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund that will go toward its operations budget.

The grant was made possible by a board of advisers’ distribution through the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund, a donor-advised fund within the DeKalb County Community Foundation, according to a news release.

The funding comes at a crucial time for the Egyptian, which has been closed or operating at an extremely limited capacity since March.

“COVID-19 has had a chilling effect on the live entertainment industry,” Egyptian Theatre Executive Director Alex Nerad said. “This support from the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund grant is critical to ensuring that the Egyptian Theatre not only endures this pandemic but can return to the vibrancy of programming we were offering before [COVID-19].”

Outside of a pandemic, the Egyptian Theatre, which has been in operation since 1929, welcomes more than 42,000 patrons a year.

It is the host site for events from more than 25 local nonprofits and recently completed a $6.5 million expansion that featured changes to its restrooms and concessions and – for the first time in its 91-year history – added air-conditioning.

“The DeKalb County Community Foundation and the board of advisers of the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund were extremely pleased to present the Egyptian Theatre with this grant,” DCCF Grants Director Tiffany McQueen Lewis said. “The Egyptian Theatre has been a pillar in the DeKalb County community for over 90 years, and we hope that our partnership will enable the theater to not only survive in the midst of this pandemic, but to thrive, expand and continue to serve the residents of this great county.”

The Egyptian Theatre,
135 N. Second St. in downtown DeKalb, is owned and operated by Preservation of Egyptian Theatre Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Annual support is provided by First National Bank, Northwestern Medicine, Shaw Media and Tapa La Luna.

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