San Diego Opera, Old Globe receive grants worth nearly $150,000

SAN DIEGO — The Old Globe Theatre and the San Diego Opera were awarded nearly $150,000 in combined grants from the California Arts Council, it was announced Tuesday.

San Diego Opera received three grants from the Arts Council, totaling $50,400. One of the grants, worth $18,000, will support San Diego Opera’s Words and Music program for students.

The other two grants, each for $16,200, will support the Words and Music program at the La Maestra Center for Youth Advancement and the organization’s Student Night at the Opera program, which gives students access to the opera’s final dress rehearsals.

Both programs are designed to help increase access to the arts in underserved communities.

“The company aims to demonstrate that opera as an art form (essentially the combination of words and music) has relevance for our community, and encourages youth to create their own works of music, theater and poetry based on their life experiences,” San Diego Opera said in a statement. “These programs enable students to find their unique voices, and fosters self- confidence and student agency.”

The Arts Council awarded five grants totaling $91,855 to the Old Globe Theatre, including $24,555 to train the theater’s teachers to teach Shakespeare plays to local inmates at Donavan State Prison who have physical and mental disabilities.

The Old Globe received four grants of $16,200 for its various programs that attempt to reach local youth and military veterans who have limited access to the arts. The Arts Council also awarded $2,500 to the theater to launch a pilot program to help local inmates create original plays that are based on those by Shakespeare.

“Our programs are enriching, educational and inclusive, and we couldn’t be more honored that their power and impact are recognized and enhanced by the CAC,” said Barry Edelstein, the Old Globe’s artistic director. “We are grateful for this funding.”

The Arts Council voted last month to award more than 1,300 grants and nearly $25 million to arts and theater organizations around the state. According to the council, the number of grants awarded is the second-most in the state’s history and represent a year-over-year increase of $8.1 million.

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Arts Council Chair Nashormeh Lindo. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues — dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures.”

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