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Chapman Cultural Center Welcomes Proud Mary Theatre with $10,000 Grant

Proud Mary Theatre Company will officially become a partner with Chapman Cultural Center as the youngest nonprofit under the arts organization’s General Operating Support umbrella with significant funding by the National Endowment of the Arts.

Chapman Cultural Center is the leading Local Arts Agency in Spartanburg County. Each year, GOS grants are awarded based on a stringent application process to arts and cultural organizations that have been established as a 501(c)3 for three years or more and work towards advancing the arts and cultural vitality of Spartanburg County. Grantees are evaluated based on merit, need, evidence of sound management and fiscal responsibility, and service within Spartanburg County.

“As South Carolina’s only LGBTQIA+ theatre company, my heart is full of humility that Proud Mary Theatre Company is being recognized as a worthy endeavor and in the limelight and shadow of landmark arts titans such as Spartanburg Little Theatre, Spartanburg Philharmonic, and Ballet Spartanburg. said Sandy Staggs, founder and Artistic Director.

“And I am indebted with supreme gratitude to every single artist – and there have been hundreds over the last five years – who has ever volunteered and made a lasting contribution to our mission of presenting quality theatrical producations about and by the LGBTQIA+ community to thousands of people in Spartanburg and the Upstate.”

“And many, many thanks to all of our board members past and present – especially founding president Darryl Harmon, our current president Melanie Ann Wiliford, and past president Kate Roark, who have lead this organization to new heights every year and transformed a one-man shop into a functioning organization,” he added.

Harmon expressed his gratitude as well: “We would like to thank the Chapman Cultural Center for recognizing teh value we bring to the Spartanburg arts community by allowing LGBTQIA+ voices to be heard.”


“Proud Mary Theatre,of course, will remain at our wonderful home at Artists Collective Spartanburg, but our next goal is to perform at the beautiful theatre at Chapman Cultural Center one day. Even if we start in the grand Lobby or the courtyard on a Monday night,” he said.

Chapman Cultural Center is pleased to announce we’ve awarded $539,400 in General Operating Support (GOS) Grants to 11 arts and cultural organizations for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The funds are the highest amount awarded since the 2019-2020 fiscal year and will be critical to supporting Spartanburg’s arts and cultural community as it continues to recover from the pandemic. Grantees use GOS funding to support annual operating expenses and general funding to support and progress the mission of their organization.

In the last twenty-five years, through donations to the United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded $18 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way, and our community’s creative ecology is stronger because of it.

Chapman Cultural Center is the leading Local Arts Agency in Spartanburg County. Each year, GOS grants are awarded based on a stringent application process to arts and cultural organizations that have been established as a 501(c)3 for three years or more and work towards advancing the arts and cultural vitality of Spartanburg County. Grantees are evaluated based on merit, need, evidence of sound management and fiscal responsibility, and service within Spartanburg County.

“We are thrilled to be awarding these grants as arts and cultural organizations emerge from the pandemic and strive to increase service to students and underserved citizens, and to bring together the community at the Chapman Center and at other venues throughout Spartanburg County. The arts and culture unite us and these grants represent important operating funds that sustain nonprofits in our area and enable us all to celebrate what makes our community so special and unique,” said Daniel Mayer, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center.

General Operating Support Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Artists Collective | Spartanburg

Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg

Ballet Spartanburg

Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve

Hub City Writers Project

Proud Mary Theatre Company

Spartanburg Art Museum

Spartanburg County Historical Association

Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Youth Theatre

Spartanburg Philharmonic

Spartanburg Science Center

This year, Chapman Cultural Center received additional funding through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to aid in the arts and cultural sectors’ recovery from the pandemic. Chapman Cultural Center received $250,000 in funding which was used to supplement and distribute GOS grants to eligible organizations.

To learn more about Chapman Cultural Center’s various grants programs and processes, please visit chapmanculturalcenter.org.

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