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Dallas Summer Musicals Wins $375,000 Grant 13

Dallas Summer Musicals, the presenter of Broadway theater in North Texas, was awarded a three-year grant of $375,000 from the Texas Instruments Foundation.

The grant will contribute operational support for the next three Broadway seasons, the non-profit’s education and community partnership programs and a new strategic plan. 

Ken Novice, the president of DSM, said since he joined the company three years ago, education and community engagement with partners has been a top priority. The nonprofit even started an education and community partnerships department for the first time in DSM history, now with a staff of three people.

“It’s been important for us in the past three years, since I’ve been there, to really look at our neighbors around Fair Park and create relationships with those folks,” Novice said. “And really make the Music Hall available to the community and also the programs of the music hall available to the communities and neighbors around Fair Park and around Southern Dallas.”

Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Award, 2019 finale. Photo: Chris Waits

The three-year grant will also help the organization continue the annual High School Musical Theatre Awards, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2021. In May, the awards morphed into a virtual ceremony on YouTube

The new strategic plan will create a road map to help the company present the best musicals out of Broadway, create new partnerships in the community, maintain financial stability and support community and education programs, said Novice.

Executive director of TI Andy Smith said in a statement that the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded people of the importance of the arts. 

“Art connects us, and we are proud to continue our support of the Dallas Summer Musicals and the role it plays to make Dallas a great place to live,” Smith said. 

Summer Musicals is also one of the 51 Dallas arts groups to adopt COVID-19 safety precautions. Many of the summer shows were canceled, including The Cher Show, Disney’s Frozen and Escape to Margaritaville. Come From Away was canceled only three performances into its run. And some of its productions, such as RENT, have been pushed back to 2021.  

The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry in New York and across North America, announced in late June that Broadway performances in New York will be suspended until Jan. 3, 2021.

“At least our hope is that we can start our season with our shows either later this year or early in January,” Novice said. 

There is no re-opening date set for DSM. 

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