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NPR Arts & Life

On Q Performing Arts Receives Grant That Will Double Its Budget

Charlotte's only African-American theater company, On Q, has received a $105,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will more than double its budget.

On Q's education and outreach director Jermaine Lee says the grant will fund six productions over the next two seasons. It will also help raise the quality of its shows.  

"We for the most part have been a professional theater with the budget of a community theater," Lee says. "This allows for our production value and our actual budget to be commensurate with one another."

On Q's board chairwoman Valaida Fullwood says the grant will give the theater time to come up with new fundraising strategies to help stabilize the company. Last year, On Q canceled a show because it didn't have enough money.

Fundraising has been an issue for many local theater and arts groups.

Carolina Actors Studio Theatre closed its doors last month because of declining ticket sales and other financial challenges. Lee says without the grant, that could have been On Q's fate as well.

On Q was founded by poet Quentin Talley in 2006.