As an intern, I was grateful to be given the opportunity to get a tour by McKenzie Rounds, Donor Relations Manager at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. The Civic Theatre, located in Downtown Grand Rapids, is one the oldest and largest growing community theatres in the nation.
It was amazing to see the renovations that they are currently working on, including additions to the building, and improving accessibility throughout the building – including elevator and stair renovations, additional rooms, and practice room space. A few of my favorite parts about the Civic Theatre are the style of the theatre entrance and the theatre itself – it feels nostalgic and adds character to the building. Another thing I admired was the backstage area: they have countless props, uniforms, and supplies for their variety of shows.
Civic Theatre is largely driven by 600+ community members that volunteer their time in various ways, including acting on stage, painting, props, costumes, ushers, greeters, and administration help. McKenzie discussed each level of involvement in the making of these shows. I saw these behind-the-scenes volunteers who put in necessary work for these shows to do so well.
With the struggle of Covid preventing shows and challenging the programs as they were, it was a concerted effort between loyal donors and program staff that helped them continue to thrive. The Civic Theatre receives funding from community partners to ensure that their School of Theatre Arts is available and accessible to all prospective students and allows for many scholarship opportunities throughout the year. The education department has two full time education staff and other teaching assistants that help with over 100 classes throughout the season. It’s great to see this amazing place thrive with so much diversity and talents from all over Grand Rapids. It’s no wonder the classes/camps are filling up with so many kids and adults lining up to be a part of this great organization. Thank you to Kennari Consulting and McKenzie for giving me the opportunity to get a tour of the theatre.
Interested in touring and learning more about Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s mission? Contact McKenzie Rounds, Donor Relations Manager at GRCT.