W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation Donates $2.5 Million to Lexington Children’s Theatre

by Jacob Coakley

The Lexington Children’s Theatre will get an annual $125,000 stipend thanks to the $2.5 million endowment.
The Lexington Children’s Theatre will get an annual $125,000 stipend thanks to the $2.5 million endowment.
Always love to see stories like this. The W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation has donated $2.5 Million to Lexington Children’s Theatre to fund their endowment and ensure an annual stiped on $125,000 to support the LCT’s Shooting Stars Youtheatre program, which provides “access to the arts and all the concomitant benefits” to the youth of Rowan and Elliott counties, where Mrs. Little was raised.

Lexington Children’s Theatre awarded $2,500,000 endowment from W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation

(Lexington, KY) – The Bluegrass Community Foundation announced today that Lexington Children’s Theatre’s Shooting Stars Youtheatre Program (SSYT) based in Rowan and Elliott Counties is the recipient of a $2,500,000 endowment from the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation.  Through this endowment, approximately $125,000 per year will be available to fund LCT’s outreach programs in these counties.  “A gift of this magnitude further demonstrates the generosity and foresight of the Little Foundation.  It also sets the bar for philanthropic support of the arts in Kentucky.  This investment in the Children’s Theatre affirms its importance in the cultural life of Fayette, Rowan, and Elliott Counties,” says Jim Clark, President and CEO of LexArts.

For the last seven years, SSYT has been funded by a yearly grant of $100,000 from the Little Foundation.  The Shooting Stars Youtheatre was created to provide access to the arts and all the concomitant benefits to the youth of Rowan and Elliott counties, where Mrs. Little grew up.  Through Performance Workshops, Theatre School, in-school residencies and performances, Family Pay What You Can Performances, programs for at-risk youth, and Summer Discovery Productions, LCT has reached over 35,000 young people in these counties.  Today, SSYT serves as a model program for theatre arts in rural communities, thanks to our dedicated staff and the funding provided from the Little Foundation.

Through this endowment, SSYT will be funded in perpetuity.  Now, says Octavia Fleck, director of SSYT, the program “will forever be a place for children and their families to share an enthusiasm for life through creativity and vivid imaginations.”  It is our goal, through the generous funding provided by the Little Foundation, to reach every child in Rowan and Elliott Counties, thus strengthening both counties’ communities through Arts influence and enrichment of children’s lives and growth through its services.

This endowment, along with a similar one for Morehead State University, is the largest gift ever granted by the Little Foundation.  It will be administered by the Blue Grass Community Foundation.  “We are honored that the Little Foundation is entrusting Lexington Children’s Theatre with Mrs. Little’s legacy of providing arts education to young people.  The Shooting Stars Youtheatre in Rowan and Elliott counties will live on as a lasting tribute to her lifelong dedication to the arts,” says producing director Larry Snipes.  LCT Board President Valerie Marshall agrees – “the Board was thrilled to learn of the Little Foundation’s gift.  Not only does it provide the certainty of the continuation of the program, but it also recognizes the good work being done by the artistic professionals of the Lexington Children Theatre.  We are truly thankful and appreciative of the support of the Little Foundation.”  This endowment will now put LCT in a position to seek similar funding to ensure the longevity of programming in the Lexington facility.

For more info on Lexington Children’s Theatre (LCT) please visit www.lctonstage.org