Beaumont, Texas – Beaumont Community Players (BCP) has been in existence for more than three-quarters of a century, entertaining audiences with professional quality Broadway plays and musicals that range from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Neil Simon. Established in 1925 as the “Little Theatre,” the local volunteer thespians have expanded from a small troupe performing at the City of Beaumont’s Fair Park to a myriad of Southeast Texas talents continuing this same tradition and engaging in collaborative performances with the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Lamar University Theatre Department and other arts-related organizations.
In 2007, BCP moved into its current home at 4155 Laurel Avenue, a former UA6 movie theater. After a campaign with a great deal of local support, and massive renovation, the old movie theater was transformed into the most impressive community theater facility between Houston and New Orleans.
Enter Edaren Foundation & Capital One Bank
With a first-rate facility and decades of history, it became time for BCP to take another important step. After receiving a couple of small grant requests from BCP Board members, Edaren engaged with the Board to mutually discuss how our organizations could partner together in a strategic way and develop a more transformative grant.
What became obvious was that, in order for BCP to take the next step to become a more stable, self-sustaining organization that can also be a steward of the tremendous asset they now possess in the theater, a full-time professional Executive Director was a necessity.
After crafting the budget and gaining initial approval from Edaren, the BCP Board then contacted Capital One Bank, who administers several local foundations, to gage interest in a matching funds commitment. What resulted was a multi-year transformational grant to cover recruitment costs and the salary and benefits for a professional Executive Director. This approach would provide stability and full-time leadership for the organization, management of the other part and full-time employees as well as volunteers, and a professional liaison to the Board. In addition, it gave BCP a full-time champion to serve as a development person underwriting the season and identifying key partners in the community.
Lastly, Edaren Foundation has also helped with additional funds providing professional non-profit Board training to insure they are following best practices and are able to evolve to meet the challenge of managing and supporting a full-time Executive Director.
It has proven to be a strong partnership and precisely the kind of transformative grant that Edaren Foundation seeks out in order to help an organization in a strategic way.