Classical Theatre Of Harlem Awarded $1 Million Grant From Mellon Foundation

June 5, 2024

By HWM

The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is thrilled to announce its receipt of a $1 million grant from the prestigious Mellon Foundation.

This generous funding will support CTH’s economic development and community-building initiatives, particularly around its upcoming free summer production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Carl Cofield, this production promises to enchant audiences by transporting them into a magical world set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance.

“… pave a powerful road for future generations.”


Stephanie Ybarra, program officer for Arts and Culture at the Mellon Foundation, lauded the theatre’s contributions to New York’s cultural tapestry: “Classical Theatre of Harlem is among the more thrilling anchors of New York’s artistic landscape. Summer after summer, year after year, the artists and theater workers animating the stories on stage pave a powerful road for future generations. It is with immense gratitude and respect that we celebrate this partnership with Ty and the entire team at CTH.”

Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director of CTH, expressed his gratitude for the support: “We are thrilled and incredibly grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support for our 25th anniversary season. We look forward to applying this funding to help CTH draw over 20,000 people to the neighborhood and generate $500,000 in economic activity. Funding for the arts is essential, especially for small organizations like CTH that provide a public benefit. The Classical Theatre of Harlem is both good for Harlem, and good for NYC.”

This funding will facilitate a vibrant 25th Anniversary Season, beginning with the free Harlem Renaissance-themed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Marcus Garvey Park this July. Following this, the world premiere of Memnon by Will Power, directed by Carl Cofield, will debut at the Getty Villa in California this September. CTH’s partnership with Uptown Grand Central aims to create opportunities for local small businesses and nonprofit cultural and community organizations, thereby broadening arts audiences across Northern Manhattan.


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“… the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities …”

The Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities since 1969, continues to champion the essential role of the humanities and arts in fostering human understanding and cultural enrichment.

This partnership with CTH underscores its commitment to nurturing dynamic and inclusive artistic endeavors.

Photo credit: CTH

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