WILMINGTON — Wilmington College received a $30,000 gift designed to help underwrite this year’s summer theatre production, in addition to enhancing outreach to youth interested in drama and attract talented students in the performing arts.
The Galvin Family Foundation of the Johnson Charitable Gift Fund presented the grant in support these enduring programs through the College’s Enabling Arts in Wilmington Project.
The College Community Summer Theatre received $20,000 toward this year’s production of the musical, The Addams Family, with a $5,000 grant going for Clinton County Kids & Company and five $1,000 WC Talent Awards for Wilmington College students with an interest in the performing arts.
Wynn Alexander, professor of theatre and fine arts area coordinator, said the grant is having a positive and immediate impact.
“The Theatre Department is greatly appreciative of the Galvin Family Foundation’s support for fine arts outreach on campus and in our community,” he said.
“The foundation’s generous gift is helping make it possible for us to produce a top-quality summer theatre musical that utilizes significant talent found within our community, while also enhancing the ability of Kids & Company to provide a rich summer experience for local youth,” Alexander added. “Also, the Talent Awards will help attract students for whom involvement in performing arts programs will affect their careers and lives in positive ways.”
Wilmington College has long played a foundational role in promoting and facilitating the arts in Clinton County. The Enabling Arts in Wilmington Project is designed to further enhance the time-honored opportunities inherent in the summer theatre and Kids & Company programs.
Indeed, obtaining the production rights to popular musicals can cost as much as $20,000 and, coupled with compensation for professional musicians, the direction staff and student workers, along with securing costumes and set materials, the cost for the productions cannot be covered by ticket prices alone — even if all shows sell out, which often occurs.
Kids & Company is in its 24th season under founding director Lois Hock, professor of theatre. It is dedicated to providing quality dramatic arts experiences for local children and youth regardless of their economic level or special need. Its mission includes developing creativity, cultural awareness, team-building skills and self-esteem.
WC’s Talent Awards competition for enrolled WC students accepts entries in music (voice and instrumental) and theatre (voice, reading and dance), with five winners receiving the $1,000 stipend and an invitation to be involved with the College-Community Summer Theatre.
This grant is the latest in the legacy involving Wilmington College provided by the late Mary Ellen “Brady” Hazard Galvin, a 1932 WC graduate and member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1988. A birthright Quaker and Wilmington native, she and her husband, Wayne, developed and managed a half dozen area newspapers, including what was the precursor to the city’s current newspaper, the Wilmington News Journal. She died in 1993.
Among Brady Galvin’s many gifts to Wilmington College, she funded the Galvin Alumni House and, through her estate plans, provided WC with its largest single bequest gift from an alumnus,