Sunderland Foundation Award Press Release 2021
2020 Recipient of Missouri Arts Council Funding
Maples Repertory Theatre is proud and appreciative of the funding received from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
The Missouri Arts Council (MAC) rewarded Maples Repertory Theatre funding to support professional theatre performances at the historic Royal Theatre in Macon, Missouri. The theatre plays a key role in drawing people from all over north Missouri to downtown Macon.
Grants from the Missouri Arts Council make it possible for many arts organization s to continue their missions, serve their communities, and contribute to the overall economic growth of Missouri.
2020 USDA Grant Project Funded: Chair-ity
“Area Groups Join Together to Improve Royal Theatre”
Winter is generally a slow time at the Royal Theatre in downtown Macon. This year the Coronavirus Pandemic has made the theatre especially quiet. However, a group of community supporters are taking advantage of this down time to remodel and refresh the theatre interior including brand new seats.
The Royal Theatre has served the Macon area as a center for entertainment and education for 130 years. It has been the venue for travelling shows, community evens and movies. Blees Military Academy cadets used the theatre for convocations. The first public high school in Macon County (located at Bourke and Vine Streets) did not have an auditorium, so concerts and graduations where heled at the theatre until the “new” school was opened in 1931.
During the period when the Royal operated as a movie theatre (1930-1995) local service clubs and the Chamber of Commerce continued to use the building as a community auditorium. Beginning in the 1980’s Carousel Productions stared producing community plays at the theatre. Since 1991 thousand s of volunteer hours went into cleaning and remodeling the property to make it more suitable for live performances. In 2004, Maples Repertory Theatre opened its first season of professional shows at the theatre.
Now it’s time to remodel and update this valuable community facility. The seeds of this current project were planted over a year ago when Denise Bennett at Macon County Economic Development became aware of a rural development grant from USDA which is available for our area. Maples Repertory Theatre began working with USDA to find a project that could work to the benefit of the area. Re-seating the auditorium including redesigning the balcony was the chosen project. Carousel Productions joined the effort and they were able to present the project to the Industrial Development Authority of Macon County and secured their support and funding. “When we have big shows such as LES MISERABLES, SHREK, or our upcoming BEAUTY & THE BESAST we seat a lot of people in the balcony. This remodel and new seats will make those balcony patrons much more comfortable” said Sandy Coons, Carousel Productions President.
Now the work is beginning. On November 5th the Macon High School FFA chapter removed all the seats from the balcony. This excellent community service work started the remodel project. Eventually the balcony seats will be refurbished and offered for sale in small sets to help fund the ongoing project. The next week other area residents removed the seats on the main floor of the building. Throughout the winter moths all the walls will be re-plastered and painted working toward installation of new seats and new carpeting during March 2021.
“it is great to have so many groups working together on updating the Royal,” said Todd Davison, Artistic Director of Maples Repertory Theatre. Anyone who wants to support the project and leave a lasting memento int he building can do so through sponsoring a seat. A special project called “Chair-ity” allows patrons to inscribe a plaque which will be displayed on the wooden armrest of each new theatre seat. Individuals may sponsor a seat in appreciation or in memory of a loved one or to commemorate a special event. A specific seat in the auditorium may be sponsored, or a “general admission” seat may be chosen at random. Go online at bidpal.net/chairity or call the Mapes Rep box office 660.385.2924 for information about sponsoring a seat.
In the spring a Grand Opening Celebration will be planned to show off the work to the public. “Because of COVID we can spend a little more time and finish more of the little side-projects we have dreamed of. I know everyone will be impressed and proud of the final product” Davison said.
Published in The Macon County Home Press on November 16, 2020.
You can be a part of the future at Maples Rep by sponsoring a new seat! Your dedication will be engraved on a handsome metal tag displayed on your sponsored seat. The cost is $150 per seat, plus an additional $50 to sponsor a specific seat in the location of your choice.
Sponsorships are available now online or at the box office: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=2&p=2
2020 Bayer Award
Macon, MO (October 16, 2020) – Local farmers Drew and Becky Belt recently directed a
$2,500 America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation, sponsored by Bayer Fund, to the
Maples Repertory Theatre. The award was announced by Artistic Director Todd Davison and
board president Connie Argotsinger at the theatre’s annual Gala Dinner fundraiser held recently
at the Pear Tree Kitchen and Bar. Attending the gala were supporters and theatre fans from
throughout the surrounding area, including Macon, Kirksville, and Columbia.
“The Theatre is grateful to the Belts and to the Bayer Fund for this award. A donation
like this during a time like this means a great deal to a nonprofit organization like ours” said
Todd Davison, artistic director.
America’s Farmers, sponsored by Bayer Fund, is focused on strengthening rural America
through three community outreach programs that partner with farmers to make an impact in
communities where farmers live and work. The programs have given more than $53 million to
rural America since 2010 and include: Grow Communities, Grow Rural Education and Grow Ag
Leaders. To learn more about the three programs visit AmericasFarmers.com.