ArtsBeat

Boise’s Morrison Endowment Foundation surpasses $1 million in grants to local groups

Ballet Idaho performs three concerts each season at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, with help from a Morrison Endowment Foundation grant. It’s the largest proscenium stage in Idaho.
Ballet Idaho performs three concerts each season at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, with help from a Morrison Endowment Foundation grant. It’s the largest proscenium stage in Idaho. Idaho Statesman file

The Morrison Center Endowment Foundation hit a milestone earlier this year with its grants that supports local arts groups seeking access to the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.

Foundation president Justin Wilkerson created the program in 2011. He’s the grandson of Velma Morrison, who spearheaded the effort to build the performing arts center on Boise State campus in the early 1980s.

Since then, the Foundation has given more than $1.3 million to subsidize the production costs for local groups. The Endowment Foundation makes 5 percent of its $14.1 million in assets available in grant money toward this program and other needs.

The Endowment underwrites performances of national acts, such as “The Irish Tenors,” to reduce ticket prices, and it recently purchased new furniture for the Center’s sitting areas.

The most recent round of local grants went to Ballet Idaho; which regularly performs three concerts each season at the Morrison Center; The Boise Chordsmen, for its annual barbershop quartet concert and competition; Boise Music Week for its 2016 production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum;” Boise Philharmonic, to support its eight-concert season at the Morrison Center; Idaho Shakespeare Festival to offer a free performance of its Idaho Theater for Youth production of “The Shakespeare Stealer;” Opera Idaho, to support its presentation of The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “The Pirates of Penzance;” and the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights (Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial).

How to apply

The deadline for the next round of grants is Friday, July 1. For more information how to apply click on the Application For Funding link or call, 345-5225.

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