Theater club

USDA invests in Center Theater and Patriarchs Club


U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of State for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced USDA is investing $ 222 million to build and improve critical community facilities in 44 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. This funding for community infrastructure will benefit nearly 2.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of State for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced USDA is investing $ 222 million to build and improve critical community facilities in 44 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. This community infrastructure funding will benefit nearly 2.5 million people in rural communities. It also includes $ 132 million to support health care, food security and emergency response services for more than 850,000 rural residents in 37 states. In Maine, five community facilities will receive a total of $ 176,800 in grants.

One of the recipients is the Center Theater of Dover-Foxcroft, which receives two grants totaling $ 28,000 ($ 15,600 and $ 12,400). This rural development investment will be used to renovate the Center Theater, the only professional performing arts venue in Piscataquis County and is a major resource for schools and the community.

The funds will be used to repair the columns and footings supporting the theater on the banks of the Piscataquis River. The theater is a historic building and over time there has been damage from flooding, ice and erosion. Damage was also caused by inadequate roof drainage which will be corrected as part of this project.

Many theater programs focus on children and education, including drama camps, after-school programs, educational programs and children’s theatrical productions in cooperation with Foxcroft Academy. The theater also produces a number of live theater productions during the year, as well as concerts, meetings and community events. Another component of the theater’s programming consists of first and second run films as well as documentaries and art films.

The Patriarches Club receives a grant in the amount of $ 50,000. This rural development investment will be used to expand the Harmony Cares pantry located in the town of Harmony. This project involves the construction of a 28 foot by 30 foot addition that will provide the space needed for food distribution, storage and washrooms. The Pantry also serves the nearby towns of Cambridge and Wellington. Since the pantry opened in 2017, the number of food insecure families served by this establishment has tripled. Additional food distribution / storage space and refrigeration / freezing capacity are desperately needed to meet growing demand. The project will also provide facility upgrades, an emergency generator and commercial refrigeration / freezer units.

“The Biden-Harris administration is keeping its promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy,” Torres Small said. “Rural Americans need emergency response, hospitals and medical facilities, and USDA loans and grants are investing in critical infrastructure to make this possible. USDA Rural Development puts rural people at the forefront of investments and opportunities to help us all build back better, stronger and more resilient.

USDA State of Maine Acting Director of Rural Development Tommy R. Higgins said, “This rural development funding supports several projects in Maine that benefit critical community facilities. From repairing a rural library to expanding a pantry to upgrading other essential and important facilities, this key funding improves the quality of life for residents of rural communities.

USDA is investing in 537 projects across the Direct Loans and Grants Program for Community Facilities. The aid will fund essential community services that will help maintain rural America’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics; and fight against food insecurity.

Over 100 types of projects are eligible for community facility funding. Eligible applicants include federally recognized municipalities, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Native American tribes. Projects must be located in rural areas of 20,000 inhabitants or less. For more information visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.

Thanks for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading and supporting local and rural journalism, please subscribe.