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Local

DeKalb's Egyptian Theatre awarded $75K grant for expansion project

DeKalb County Community Foundation gives theater with Community Needs grant

DeKalb County Community Foundation Board and staff members and Egyptian Theatre Board and staff members are seen ath the theater recently.
DeKalb County Community Foundation Board and staff members and Egyptian Theatre Board and staff members are seen ath the theater recently.

DeKALB – The Egyptian Theatre was awarded a $75,000 grant, which will aid efforts to raise the remaining amount needed to cover the ongoing $5.5 million expansion project.

The grant was awarded through the DeKalb County Community Foundation, according to a news release from the theater, as part of the Community Needs Fall 2019 grant cycle. The grant is given to a nonprofit or organization in the county as part of the foundation’s mission to give back to the community, the release said.

“The Community Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Egyptian Theatre,” Alex Nerad, executive director of the theater, said in the release. “We are so appreciative of their support of this transformational project.”

The theater at 135 N. Second St. was awarded
$2.5 million in tax increment financing money from the city of DeKalb, and is now undertaking a public campaign to raise the remaining funds.

As part of the project, which broke ground May 1, air conditioning will be installed, which will allow for year-round programming for the first time in the theater’s history. The two-story addition will add restrooms, concessions and storage spaces that are meant to enhance visitors’ experience, the release said.

Theater staff said the improvements will expand the theater’s annual cultural and economic impact to the region, and improve the ongoing preservation efforts of the historic building that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, named in the top 20 Architectural Treasures by the state of Illinois Tourism and named one of 150 Great Places in Illinois by the American Institute of Architects.

The Egyptian Theatre welcomes more than 40,000 people through its doors each year and is host to more than 25 different community organizations that use the Egyptian for their events each year, according to the release.

Located in downtown DeKalb, the theater is owned and operated by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Preservation of Egyptian Theatre Inc. For information on the Egyptian Theatre expansion project and to make a donation, visit www.egyptiantheatre.org.

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