BrightSide Theatre receives three grants to support programming

Posted1/17/2022 7:21 PM

BrightSide Theatre recently received a $20,000 grant from DuPage Foundation's Community Needs Grant Program to support its annual programming, including the 10th anniversary mainstage productions, the BrightSide Theatre Youth Project, and the new Theatre in the Parks with BrightSide Theatre program. In addition, the theater received two $500 grants from two other funds.

Artistic director Jeffrey Cass and executive director Julie Ann Kornak are leading BrightSide Theatre's 10th anniversary as Naperville's only professional theater performing in the historic downtown district.


This season's productions include "Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play," "Promises, Promises in Concert," "Don't Dress for Dinner," and "Mamma Mia!," along with the BrightSide Theatre Youth Project's production of "Disney's The Descendants."

The second annual Theatre in the Parks with BrightSide Theatre will take place throughout Naperville area parks in this summer. BrightSide Theatre is committed to "enlighten, educate, and entertain" through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe.

BrightSide's shows are selected to be a blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community. For more information on BrightSide Theatre, visit

BrightSide Theatre is one of 31 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant through DuPage Foundation's Community Needs Grant Program.

"We are proud to deploy these much needed grants to the not-for-profit organizations that work tirelessly to serve our community, especially as the lingering effects of the pandemic have forced many to re-imagine and rebuild their operations and programs," said Barb Szczepaniak, DuPage Foundation vice president for programs. "We are grateful to our donors for their generosity and desire to expand funding to support these organizations."

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BrightSide Theatre also received a generous $500 donation, thanks to the grant from the Michael J. Schroeck Fund of the DuPage Foundation.

In addition, on behalf of the volunteer efforts of Morgan Stanley employee Margaret Birch, the current treasurer with BrightSide Theatre, the organization received a $500 grant to be used exclusively for public community programming and educational programs.

The Morgan Stanley Foundation is proud to support organizations who offer services in children's health, community education, health and human services, and environment protection. This contribution from the foundation represents support from all the business units within Morgan Stanley.

During the fall 2021 Community Needs cycle, DuPage Foundation awarded $432,193 to organizations working in the areas of education, arts and culture, environment and animal welfare.

In the past fiscal year, DuPage Foundation granted nearly $9 million through Community Needs, donor-advised grants, special initiatives, and designated grants. Thanks to additional donations from DuPage Foundation's donors and donor-advisors, the foundation was able to grant $179,393 above its regular Community Needs grant budget.


The DuPage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) community foundation, is the philanthropic leader in DuPage County. It manages more than $125 million in assets and has awarded more than $60 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations serving the residents of DuPage County since its founding in 1986.

Individuals and organizations seeking to provide impactful support to address critical issues in DuPage County and beyond can create powerful customizable gift solutions and partnerships through DuPage Foundation. More at

Applications for DuPage Foundation's Community Needs Grant Program are accepted twice per year. The spring cycle delivers grants to organizations working in health and human services with applications due on Friday, March 4.

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