NBC Awards Grants to 50 High School Theatre Departments Ahead of Rise Premiere

Education News   NBC Awards Grants to 50 High School Theatre Departments Ahead of Rise Premiere
The network’s R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America grant program provides funds for production expenses, master classes, and more.
Josh Radnor, Ellie Desautels, Auli'i Cravalho, Shannon Purser, Sean Grandillo, Ted Sutherland, and Amy Forsyth Peter Kramer/NBC

NBC has partnered with the Educational Theatre Foundation to award 50 high school grants of $10,000 each to support their theatre departments. The R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America program, inspired by the network’s upcoming theatre-focused drama Rise, received over a thousand applicants following the initial announcement.


The grants will help cover a variety of needs for theatre programs around the country, including production expenses, technical equipment, master classes, and additional outreach opportunities. To qualify, each school was required to have an existing theatre program—or a faculty member who had served as a champion of arts education if the department fell victim to budget cuts.

The announcement of the grant recipients comes a week before the March 13 premiere of the NBC series from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood’s Jason Katims and Hamilton’s Jeffrey Seller. Josh Radnor stars as Lou Mazzuchelli, a teacher who galvanizes his students, fellow faculty, and the community as a whole as he takes over the school’s crumbling theatre department.


“It has never been clearer that the future of our country rests on the shoulders of the next generation of young leaders,” said Katims in a statement. “I am excited about the notion that the R.I.S.E. America grants will help support, inspire and nurture creative young minds throughout the country, especially at a time when arts in education is under-valued and under-funded.”

“Seeing the need school-by-school was both inspiring and a wake-up call,” added ETF President Julie Cohen Theobald. “The way these dedicated educators are impacting kids’ lives, against the odds and without the necessary resources, is heroic. Every school was deserving, and their stories reinforce the need to continue this momentum until every school in America has a well-funded theatre program.”

See the full list of grant recipients below.

Josh Radnor Eric Liebowitz/NBC

1. Charles Henderson High School (Troy, AL)
2. American Canyon High School (American Canyon, CA)
3. Henry J. Kaiser High School (Fontana, CA)
4. Mariposa County High School (Mariposa, CA)
5. Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (San Fernando, CA)
6. Seaside High School (Seaside, CA)
7. Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (Denver, CO)
8. Enfield High School (Enfield, CT)
9. School Without Walls (Washington, D.C.)
10. Hallandale High School (Hallandale Beach, FL)
11. Plant City High School (Plant City, FL)
12. The Howard School (Atlanta, GA)
13. Nanakuli High and Intermediate School (Waianae, HI)
14. Jefferson High School (Cedar Rapids, IA)
15. Glenbard West High School (Glen Ellyn, IL)
16. Scecina Memorial High School (Indianapolis, IN)
17. Leavenworth High School (Leavenworth, KS)
18. Boyle County High School (Danville, KY)
19. Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School (Kenner, LA)
20. The Baltimore City College (Baltimore, MD)
21. Hamtramck High School (Hamtramck, MI)
22. Pine Island High School (Pine Island, MN)
23. Grand Center Arts Academy (St. Louis, MO)
24. Gautier High School (Gautier, MS)
25. Park High School (Livingston, MT)
26. Malcolm Public Schools, District 148 (Malcolm, NE)
27. Belmont High School (Belmont, NH)
28. Bound Brook High School (Bound Brook, NJ)
29. Union Senior High School (Union, NJ)
30. Digital Arts & Technology Academy (Albuquerque, NM)
31. Equipo Academy East Las Vegas College Prep (Las Vegas, NV)
32. Hastings High School (Hastings-On-Hudson, NY)
33. Peekskill High School (Peekskill, NY)
34. James N Gamble Montessori (Cincinnati, OH)
35. Dublin Scioto High School (Dublin, OH)
36. Henryetta High School (Henryetta, OK)
37. Regis St. Mary Catholic School (Stayton, OR)
38. Harry S. Truman High School (Levittown, PA)
39. Mastery Charter Schools Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)
40. Central Falls High School (Central Falls, RI)
41. Deubrook Area School District 5-6 (White, SD)
42. Jackson County High School (Gainesboro, TN)
43. John Overton Comprehensive High School (Nashville, TN)
44. Alice High School (Alice, TX)
45. Jack Yates High School (Houston, TX)
46. Pharr San Juan Alamo North Early College High School (Pharr, TX)
47. Heritage High School (Leesburg, VA)
48. Rainier Beach High School (Seattle, WA)
49. Hudson High School (Hudson, WI)
50. Martinsburg High School (Martinsburg, WV)

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