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Cleveland's Karamu House receives $1 million grant for renovations

Karamu House.
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 17:05:29-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland's Karamu House, the country's oldest Black producing theatre, received a $1 million grant to complete renovations to the historic venue.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation awarded Karamu House the million-dollar grant, and the theatre plans to use the funds to complete the third phase of its campus renovation, which includes a theatre renovation, a new outdoor stage, a full-service bistro with a patio, ADA enhancements and a facelift of the streetscape.

Renovations in the third phase were originally planned to be completed in January of this year, but they were put on hold due to COVID-19, which also forced Karamu House to shift to virtual performances.

The theatre plans to return to live performances in October 2021 and also plans to resume its live arts education and community programming.

"This level of support from Bank of America will allow us to strengthen our mission of producing professional theatre, providing arts education and presenting community programs while honoring the African American experience; deepen our legacy of being America’s oldest Black producing theatre; and, advance the expansion of programs and services, including technical theatre training and workforce development,” Tony F. Sias, President and CEO of Karamu House, said in a press release.

Karamu House is located in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood at 2355 East 89th Street. To learn more about the theatre, click here.

RELATED: Karamu House donates treasured archives, including letters from Langston Hughes, to CWRU

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