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By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Citizens Bank and WJAR-TV NBC 10 have named 2nd Story Theatre the second 2013 Champion in Action in the category of arts and culture.
The $35,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage, and promotional and volunteer support the theatre receives will be used to develop an additional 70-seat performance venue on 2nd Story’s ground floor located at 28 Market St. in Warren.
“We are humbled by being named a Champion in Action, and buoyed by the enthusiastic support of Citizens Bank and NBC 10,” said Ed Shea, artistic director of 2nd Story Theatre. ”The recognition of our sustainability, along with the promise of a bright future, provides a very public vote of confidence.”
Established in 2001 by Rhode Island artists, 2nd Story Theatre is a community-based, community-focused nonprofit organization providing affordable, high-quality theatre in the East Bay. The company’s mission is to serve as an integral part of cultural life in Warren and the surrounding communities.
Ned Handy, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Rhode Island, called the organization a “local gem.”
“Since its opening in 2001, 2nd Story Theatre has set the stage for the highest professional standards for excellence in the performance of its plays, while increasing visibility and stimulating the economy in the area,” said Handy. “By purchasing the building at 28 Market St., 2nd Story Theatre is making an investment and commitment to the East Bay community.”
“NBC 10 is proud to recognize 2nd Story Theatre for its efforts to strengthen Warren’s economic development,” added Vice President and General Manager Vic Vetters of NBC 10.
The Champions in Action program is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program designed to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities. Launched in 2002, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and NBC 10 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Rhode Island communities.
To date, the program has given 42 nonprofits more than $1 million in grants and promotional support in Rhode Island.