WAM Theater Receives Community Investment Grant from Women’s Fund of Western Mass

WAM Theater is one of 20 nonprofits to receive a Community Investments for Greater Change grant from the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM).

WFWM has distributed grants through this initiative to WAM and other organizations working with women and girls whose work aligns with one or more of these strategic pillars: economic security; be free from gender-based violence, harassment and prejudice; and parity in positions of leadership, representation and power.

“As a professional theater company operating at the intersection of the arts and activism, WAM is thrilled to be among the recipients of this prestigious grant,” said Kristen Van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theater Production. “We have long admired the operation of the Women’s Fund of Western MA and the fair process implemented during this granting process serves as an excellent model for all of us who work in community investment.”

In fulfillment of WAM’s philanthropic mission, the organization donates a portion of the proceeds from their Mainstage productions to carefully selected recipients. Since WAM’s inception in 2010, they have donated over $80,000 to 22 local and global organizations working for gender equity in areas such as girls’ education, teen pregnancy prevention , awareness of sex trafficking, training of midwives, etc.

“Funds distributed through these three grant programs allow us to continue to address issues in our community that were identified in our 2019 Status of Women and Girls in Western Massachusetts Report,” said Nicole Young, community investment manager for the Women’s Fund.

This report highlighted the challenges faced by women and girls of color, many of whom live in poverty and struggle with depression and teen pregnancy at higher rates than white women. It also showed that women in general are less represented than their male counterparts in positions of politics, health care and higher education. In an effort to promote racial equality, numerous grants have been awarded to organizations led by women and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support the work of 20 organizations across our entire footprint, which spans all four counties in western Massachusetts, with more than 50% led by black people, indigenous people and people of color,” Young said. “Through this work, we plan to foster a new beginning for women and their families and help local organizations build their capacity and pursue their missions.”

In line with this work, WAM is thrilled to conclude its 2021 season from October 7-24 with the fall production of KAMLOOPA by Kim Senklip Harvey. This high-energy story follows two young urban Native sisters and their encounter with a fiery shapeshifter en route to the West Coast’s biggest powwow. For tickets and more information about the 2021 season and WAM Theater programs, events and performers, please visit www.WAMTheatre.com.

Jill E. Washington