Phone: (706) 613-3770
The Morton Theatre Corporation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that develops programming, supports the operations, and manages the box office policies for the Morton Theatre, while the government manages day-to-day operations and provides staff to enable the theatre to function as a community performing arts space.
In 1981, the Morton Theatre Corporation (or MTC) purchased the Morton building and with grant support from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Georgia Council for Arts and Humanities, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division, and a Community Development block grant from the Athens City Council began restoration of the property. In 1991, ownership of the building was handed over to the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, followed by the signing of a management agreement between the Athens-Clarke Unified Government and the Morton Theatre Corporation. The theatre was officially re-opened in the fall of 1993.
"While preserving and honoring its rich African-American history, the Morton Theatre is a community-based performing arts venue committed to providing and cultivating diverse programming that will enrich, educate, and inspire current and future generations."
The Board of Directors is broadly based, being composed of Athens' business, civic, education and government leaders. The Board came into local prominence by studying all facets of the rehabilitation of the Morton Building from its dramatic rescue for the wrecking ball to its restored position as a local landmark and gathering pace for the local community. Its management planning process for the facility stretches back to 1978. Since then, numerous board retreats, written studies and reports to the Athens-Clarke County Commission, as well as programs, collaborations, campaigns and facility rentals have taken place under the Board, under the existing managment agreement.
Under this unique management agreement, the Morton Theatre Corporation acts as the leasing agent, returning 90% of the rental fees to Athens-Clarke County's general fund. The Corporation is responsible for raising money from individuals, corporations, foundations government grants, and other sources to augment the facility's operating budget, and to establish an endowment. The local government is responsible for funding the staff, maintenance, and operation of the Morton Building as it is for any of its other buildings which provide a public service.
Through grassroots efforts, sweat, and on occasion tears have been produced to bring the Morton Theatre to where it stands today, and where it still has to go. The current Morton Theatre Corporation Board of Directors can be found here.
The Morton Theatre is a unit of the Arts Division of Athens-Clarke County's Leisure Services Department.
Managed by the Morton Theatre Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit
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