The Portland Civic Players are thrilled to announce they are the recipients of a Capital Improvement Grant from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC) scoring in the top 5, and being 1 of only 2 grants awarded in Ionia County. This funding, totaling $24,500, will be used to upgrade the marquee on the Portland Community Theater.

Mayor James Barnes says “As Mayor, we are very appreciative of the fact that the Portland Civic Players were able to acquire a grant through the MACC. My kids took part in the programs that the Civic Players put on and we enjoy the fact that we can go to plays and see the type of productions that take place there. So we are excited and happy that they were able to get that grant and we look forward to what they can do!

The Portland Civic Players now have $68,000 of the approximately $100,000 needed to complete the project by the Fall of 2023. Mary Teachout, PCP Board President says “we have been working toward this goal for a few years now and to have the project and our organization recognized by the MACC as worthy of funding is very exciting!”

The marquee on the Portland Community Theater, formerly the Sun Movie Theater, built in 1948, is original to the building. Being 74 years old, with all original fixtures and wiring, it is in extremely poor shape. You can see this up close in person, or check out the video that gives you a tour showing the damage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ9xi_2G7qY . Plans are in place to completely replace the marquee, update the wiring, and restore the lightbulbs to their original glory. PCP doesn’t want the community to worry though! The “new” marquee will look just like the old one with ONE really cool exception. We will be adding LED screens! This will allow our organization and the surrounding community to use the marquee to advertise various events and rotate multiple events at the same time. Our cast and crew and their families will literally be able to see their names up in lights!

The group is asking for community help to get the funding finish line! There are several ways you can donate.

● Check out PCPs story and make a donation to their GoFundMe Campaign that is running until the end of the year. https://gofund.me/5b731924

● The group has a website with their story, past productions and current happenings along with a donate button at the top that can be designated to the building fund. www.portlandcivicplayers.com

The Portland Civic Players have been a part of the Portland community providing live entertainment and arts education since 1955. Keeping our building in working condition and usable for the whole community will make sure the arts are alive in Portland for many years to come! Tutt Gorman, Portland City Manager says “This is exciting news for the Civic Players, as well as the entire community who share the love for the arts. The Civic Players have a storied history and have been producing high quality shows for decades and for all ages. Throughout history, the arts have contributed immensely to our world and the overall human experience. It is important that we continue to support local organizations such as the Civic Players, so they can continue to enrich all of our lives for generations to come.”

We hope to see you at our fall production of Shrek, the Musical showing November 4 and 11 at 7:30 PM and November 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and $10.50 for students through high school and go on sale to the general public on October 10. See you at the theater!

This activity is supported by the MICHIGAN ARTS AND CULTURE COUNCIL and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.