(l to r) , Dabney Coors, Theatre Memphis Board President, Mayor Jim Strickland, City Councilman Ford Canale, and Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch, announced the presentation of the 2020 Diamond Crown Organization Award to Theatre Memphis from the National Association of Community Theatre.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2020
CONTACT: Randall Hartzog, Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications
Theatre Memphis Receives National Award, Property, as Theatre Hits the Century Mark
Memphis, TN – The Diamond Crown Organization Award from the American Association of Community Theatre was presented to Theatre Memphis, Monday, March 2, 2020. Mayor Jim Strickland was present to officially announce the honor at the March board meeting of Theatre Memphis. Theatre Memphis staff and civic guests including Memphis City Councilman Ford Canale, Grinder Taber Grinder general contractor representatives Vice President Brett Grinder and Senior Project Manager Ben Cooper, and Renaissance Group President and architect Sal Feraci were in attendance, as well. It was also announced that the 7 acre-plus property on which the theatre sits and has been leasing from the city for 50 years has been deeded to Theatre Memphis by the City Council.
The board meeting was held in the new production shop expansion space which is part of the $10,000,000 renovation currently underway at 630 Perkins Extd, Memphis, TN, that will be presented to the public as Theatre Memphis opens its 100th anniversary season in August, 2020. The 2020-21 season was also discussed at the Theatre Memphis board meeting as the theater prepares to celebrate 100 years of always entertaining the community with special events leading up to and occurring during the anniversary year. Donations to the capital campaign and endowment fund for the renovations can be made by going to www.theatrememphis.org/donate.
The AACT is the premiere community theatre organization in the United States, dedicated to empowering their 7000 theatres to become cornerstones of the creative life of their communities. The Diamond Crown award is the most prestigious award granted by the AACT and designates Theatre Memphis as one of the most successful and celebrated community theatres in our nation. It is given annually to a single long-established community theatre that has exhibited continuous growth over the last decade and shows the potential for continued growth into the future.
Since its founding in 1920, the organization that would become Theatre Memphis has grown from a small group of friends performing a “Little Theatre” in a borrowed space downtown, with a residency of 46 years at the Pink Palace, into one of the oldest continuously running community theatres in America. Generations of Memphians have seen productions, performed on stage and volunteered behind the scenes to create a rich and thriving dramatic community in the Bluff City, and this award serves as a recognition of the staff and community work that has gone in to expanding and celebrating the dramatic arts in the Mid-South.
Speaking on the honor, Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch says, “Theatre Memphis is a grand lady of our community's cultural arts and to be recognized with this ‘Diamond Crown’ means so much as we give our facility a facelift and expansion so we can match the artistic excellence on our stages.” Theatre Memphis is currently in the midst of the Shine On Capital and Endowment Campaign to raise $10M to renovate its facilities at 630 Perkins Extended, the organization’s home since 1975. The doors will open to its fully renovated facility in August of 2020 for its 100th anniversary season.
Board President Dabney Coors notes, “This national designation is the 'crowning' recognition that Theatre Memphis is thriving and successfully striving to fulfill its simple, yet profound Mission Statement, which is 'to provide outstanding theatrical experience to enrich the lives of our diverse audience, participants, and community.”
Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences, participants and community. Theatre Memphis receives season sponsorship and funding from: First Tennessee Foundation / ArtsFirst, The Jeniam Foundation, ArtsMemphis and Tennessee Arts Commission
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