This post proved surprisingly difficult to begin as I think we’re all still reeling a bit from the news ourselves, even though it’s something we have always included in our strategic vision, took deliberate steps to make possible, worked for years to achieve and never had any doubt that we should be doing….things like this can still be overwhelming when they arrive.
One of the things we did early on when we first secured a space was begin a conversation with The McKnight Foundation to discuss our future and make sure we had some guidance on how best to grow into the kind of organization we really wanted HUGE to be.
That conversation has continued over the years as we pass big milestones and I’m proud of how we’ve attacked some of the more difficult aspects of maturing into that theater — usually the invisible, unglamorous work like growing an infrastructure that works both now and in the future as well as committing to paying artists in a way that can still allow us to grow without putting the work of that growth on the backs of artists any more or longer than needed.
For the working board of a young theater with big, big plans, having a foundation like McKnight that can help us see further ahead has been incredible – and now I’m excited to be able to announce that The McKnight Foundation is helping to support the next steps in the growth of our theater with a grant of general operating funds!
Molly Chase worked tirelessly to prepare and distill all of our big ideas and future plans and dreams into a cohesive vision — we submitted our application and waited nervously but hopefully — and recently got the official word that The McKnight Foundation is granting HUGE Theater sixty thousand dollars in general operating support over the next two years.
I still struggle to put words around “what this means to HUGE theater” but the simplest impact to understand is obviously the numbers themselves. Know that HUGE really does need, feel and appreciate every $30 per month membership donation – and that continues to be true. So having $30,000 per year in general operating support for two years gives us the ability to make small investments in things we really need. This is extraordinary.
But the support of the McKnight Foundation also means so much more to us – including a measure of validation to the very idea that HUGE Theater is built around, something we’ve known all along. The people we are serving are artists and what they create is art.
Ultimately, that is what makes this announcement so exciting for me – knowing how much it will help HUGE Theater to continue to support this art form and the amazing artists that call HUGE Theater their home.
Thank you all – for all your time, energy, support and patience – it means everything.
You make all this possible.
– Butch Roy
Executive Director & Humble Servant
The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based family foundation had assets of approximately $2 billion and granted about $86 million in 2013. We invest in people, place, and possibility through our support for the arts, education and learning, the Mississippi River, regional economic and community development, Midwest climate and energy, international collaborative crop research, and neuroscience research. Our primary geographic focus is the state of Minnesota, with significant support also directed to strategies throughout the U.S. and in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Learn more atmcknight.org, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.