DALLAS, TEXAS – Bishop Arts Theatre Center (BATC) is grateful to announce a generous $25,000 from the Embrey Family Foundation (EFF) to reduce the agency’s construction loan debt. The gift signifies an inaugural legacy campaign donation and a long-term commitment to the overall health & sustainability of the organization. Embrey will receive naming rights sponsorship in perpetuity on the main skybox area of the theatre.
In 2005, a 10,000 sq. ft. dilapidated building now known as BATC was donated to our nonprofit. Renovations began in 2006 and were completed in 2008 in spite of a downward spiral economy. Today the facility includes a 170-seat proscenium theatre with dressing rooms, executive offices, box office/concession area, art gallery, learning laboratory for arts education programs and an arts business incubator center for cultural organizations to rent affordable office space. Embrey was one of two philanthropic organizations who supported programming efforts just when our theatre was at the vanguard of change.
A few years later, the theatre was invited to attend Dallas Faces Race workshops made possible in part by EFF and in doing so, allowed BATC’s leadership team to germinate seeds of racial equity in the organization’s culture. This important work included participation in ongoing racial healing circles for board members and staff. Shortly thereafter, EFF also gave BATC a seat at the table via a Shared Gifting Circle, a revolutionary approach to philanthropy where arts and community leaders are at the center of grant making decisions. In March of 2016, RSF Social Finance facilitated its first joint Shared Gifting Circle with EFF. The foundation identified a group of six grant partners to participate. The grantees represented a mix of organizations focused on community organizing and the arts. Representatives from the six organizations came together for a day-long facilitated process to share project proposals and allocate $60,000 in grant funding. Embrey gave the grantee group complete control over how to divide the funds. BATC was among the six inaugural grant recipients for this new, revolutionary funding opportunity
For nearly two decades, EFF has supported both the personal and professional development and growth of BATC’s leadership team and the organization as a whole. For the generosity of financial capital, social capital, and in this unique case, healing capital, Skybox A will bear naming rights of the Embrey Family Foundation in perpetuity. Embrey’s groundbreaking approach to philanthropy to organizations of color like ours has helped level the playing field and create more equitable opportunities for us in ways.