ST. CLOUD -- U.S Senator Amy Klobuchar stopped at GREAT Theatre's headquarters in Waite Park Monday to highlight the 'Save our Stages' funding passed by Congress.

The Save Our Stages Act created a $16-billion grant program to help independent live venues, museums and theatres survive the struggles brought on by the pandemic.

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Roughly 220 Minnesota venues received funding through the grant program, including GREAT Theatre and the Paramount Theatre.

Lacey Schirmers is the Managing Director for GREAT Theatre. She says the funding was instrumental in helping them bring back their staff.

We've certainly have gotten other grants throughout COVID, but this one being specific to rebuilding the arts is really exciting. It's allowed up to rehire staff and gather together for transformative theater experiences.

Bob Johnson is the Executive Director of the Paramount Theatre. He says after going 16 months without any income, this funding is invaluable.

To have this boost from the federal government, and then to be able to spend and have revenue catch up with it, is really important just practically speaking.

Johnson says there is some hesitation because of the threat of the delta variant, but hopes the community will continue to support the arts as they have over the last year.

The Paramount Theatre will kick off their fall season with GREAT Theatre's performance of Little Shop of Horrors on September 10th.


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