The Marshall Community Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant from their Emergency Response Fund to The Franke Center for the Arts. It is an operational grant, which will give The Franke Center maximum flexibility in how they use the funds during this challenging time.

 "Performing arts venues are among the hardest hit businesses in this COVID-19 crisis,” said Jacob Gates, The Franke Center’s executive director. “Most of what we do depends on people being able to gather in large groups in an indoor space. We’re hopeful audiences will be able to do that again soon, but unfortunately there remains a lot of uncertainty.”

John Mason/TSM

The Franke Center was forced to cancel the second half of its 2019-2020 season due to the pandemic. The children’s theater show that would normally take place in the fall has been cancelled, and the service clubs that normally meet in the center’s downstairs space have had to cancel meetings or meet outdoors for the past few months.

Despite these challenges, The Franke Center continues to find ways to bring the arts into the community. In the spring, they mounted a successful online production of Clue featuring high school aged actors, and they are currently wrapping up writing workshops for youth and adults.

Clue 2020-Franke Center

“We have a fantastic 2020-2021 season of concerts and theater planned,” Gates said. “We’re hopeful that public health trends move in the right direction so we’re able to bring those exciting plans to fruition. In the meantime, we’re being creative and doing everything we can to keep the arts alive and flourishing. This generous grant from the Marshall Community Foundation provides much-needed help, and we’re grateful for the support.”

The Franke Center for the Arts is located at 214 East Mansion Street in Marshall. For more information on their upcoming shows, events and programming, please visit

The Marshall Community Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of life in Marshall and throughout Calhoun County. The Foundation holds permanently endowed funds from a range of donors, and serves as a conduit for special projects and the distribution of grants in support of innovative programs like this one. For more information about the Foundation, visit

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