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    PHOTO BY: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging
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We believe in theatre. We believe in its power to engage, to make us think and feel, to connect with our deepest selves and with the world at large.

In our view, it’s a national tragedy that most of our young people will never experience professional theatre in their childhoods. We know that if we can give them that experience, they will be all the better for it. And for some of them, theatre will be nothing less than life-changing. By supporting theatre programs that team live performances with related in-school curriculum, we hope to make a positive and lasting impression on children, helping them eventually become thoughtful and engaged citizens of the world.

Much of the theatre programming in Los Angeles and Seattle takes place in small theatres. These organizations, many of which are unknown and struggle to obtain funding, make significant contributions to their city’s cultural vibrancy. Our Building Excellence in Small Theatre (BEST) Award provides general operating support to these organizations so they can flourish, especially in this period of economic instability.

Building Excellence in Small Theatre Award

The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation is pleased to announce the application has been released for our 2014 Building Excellence in Small Theatre (BEST) Award.  The application is now available through our online application system.  Applications are due on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 6 p.m. 
A cornerstone program of The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, the BEST Award recognizes exceptional theatre organizations that contribute to the cultural vibrancy of Los Angeles County and those organizations whose applications demonstrate that they have given significant thought to the relevance of their product and their long-term viability.  Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: 1) demonstration of the organization’s ability to think creatively and aspirationally, 2) quality of how ideas are articulated, and 3) organization’s ability to differentiate itself from other Los Angeles theatre companies.
Applicants will fit into one of two categories: Small BEST Award or Mid-Size BEST Award:
1. The Small BEST Award is available for organizations with revenues in the most recently-completed fiscal year up to $849,999.
2. The Mid-Size BEST Award is available for organizations with revenues in the most recently-completed fiscal year between $850,000 and $3,000,000.
BEST Award recipients are rewarded with general operating grants varying in size from $2,500 to $25,000. Award funds must cover expenses for artistic activities which will take place between November 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Award funds cannot fund the purchase or construction of a theatre venue.  Organizations are eligible to receive BEST Award funds in consecutive years, up to three years in a row. After an organization has received a BEST Award three years in a row, it will have two years of ineligibility. 
To apply, use this link: https://www.grantinterface.com/Common/LogOn.aspx?urlkey=billerfamilyfoundation.  If you are a new applicant, you must set up a new account.  You may choose to watch this tutorial for more information on how to apply using the online tool:  http://youtu.be/etScRJXC2bE.   When working on the online application, remember to hit “Save as Draft” so you can save and revisit your work at a later time.  When you are ready to make your final submission of your application, please hit “Submit.”   If you prefer to work on your application in Word before transferring the text online, it may be helpful to print out the “Question List PDF” at the top of the application; this “Question List PDF” includes character limits for each question.
Do not call the Biller Family Foundation with questions about your application.  Instead, email inquiries@billerfamilyfoundation.org and use “BEST Question” in the Subject Line or consult www.billerfamilyfoundation.org.