Celebration Arts has established itself as Sacramento’s premier Black theater. For 36 years it has been run on a virtually volunteer basis.

The local theater has more to celebrate these days as it has landed a major grant from the state of California to hire its first administrative staffer on a full-time basis. The California Nonprofit Performing Arts Grant Program (CANPPA) has awarded Celebration Arts $50,000. The program is administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate and was created to provide grants to eligible performing arts nonprofits to encourage workforce development. The program allocated $49.5 million to eligible performing arts nonprofits.

“Celebration Arts is proud of our high-quality theater season and programs, and with this new funding, the organization looks forward to a new level of administrative acumen going into our 2023 theater season to be announced soon,” said board member Dr. Halifu Osumare.

Founded in 1986 by the multitalented James Wheatley, Celebration Arts has become an important resource to the Sacramento theater community in general, and the Black community in particular.

Since moving into its current 94-seat B Street venue five years ago, Celebration Arts has survived the COVID-19 pandemic, increased its individual donors, and

continued to produce quality theater virtually and in-person.

“We are a determined group strongly believing in service and striving to meet a need in the community,” Wheatley said.

With the CANPPA grant, the theater will be able to increase its fundraising and marketing to better serve the community. Celebration Arts also is supported by the California Arts Council and the City of Sacramento’s emergency assistance fund, facilitated by Councilmember Rick Jennings.