Utah Shakespeare Festival Applies for Shuttered Venue Grant Funds

Published: June 28, 2021 | Author: Lawrence Mbaki | Read Time: 2 minutes

USF applies for grantOne of the exciting advantages of working for the SPARC Office is the privilege of meeting Southern Utah University’s erudite faculty and staff. SUU is infused with faculty and staff who are well-versed in their craft and consummate professionals. Utah Shakespeare Festival (USF) director of development and communication since March 2018, Donnald Jersey, is one of these stalwart staff members.

Affectionately referred to as Donn, Jersey is the principal investigator (PI) for a recent mammoth grant submission to the US Small Business Association. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The SVOG includes over $16 billion in grants to venues shuttered due to COVID-19, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue. This put Jersey’s grant request at a whopping 2.1 million dollars.

This particular grant submission was a good example of how things don’t always go as planned and why the SPARC Office promotes teamwork and advanced preparation. The sponsor (US SBA) had an online grant submission portal that broke down within minutes of opening this first-come-first-served grant opportunity. After a few more false starts and rumors of the portal opening in the wee hours of the morning (2:00 am our time!), they finally opened the portal in the middle of a normal business day and incorporated a waiting room to handle the volume. Jersey and the SPARC Office pre-award team jumped into the waiting area until their turn arrived. With files prepared ahead of time, coupled with the expertise of everyone involved, they collaborated on the spot to ensure a complete and accurate final submission.

“The SPARC Office is a team of professionals and collaborators,” said Jersey. “This is hard work but the quality of SPARC’s work is outstanding and outshines whatever quantitative work they do.”

Jersey was a well-known member and regular at USF during the 16+ years he worked in the Las Vegas news industry prior to moving to the area, which made for a smooth transition into his current USF position at SUU.

“This grant will help us solidify financial strains, after a year of being closed due to COVID-19,” said Jersey. “This grant will be beneficial to everybody: SUU, USF, and the Cedar City community.”

In fact, USF is celebrating its 60th anniversary season this year. To celebrate, they’ve announced a lineup worthy of its diamond jubilee commemoration. Visit bard.org for more information. Fred Adams, founder of USF, will no doubt be smiling down as we mark this 60th year jubilee, and eagerly anticipate a potential grant award that will benefit all and make him proud!

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SUU’s SPARC Office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning through implementation and management of funded projects.

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