Diamond Crown Award
This award recognizes longevity and vitality of AACT-member theatres that have expanded programming and/or facilities in the past ten years and have the administrative leadership to remain vital to their communities for the next ten years. Recipients must have been in continuous operation for 75 years and organizational members of AACT for the past ten years.
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts (Grand Rapids, Michigan) is celebrating its 89th season, making it one of the oldest community theatres in the U.S. The Civic reaches over 120,000 people annually through main stage, youth, summer repertory, camps, traveling troupe, and special events. In 1979, the theatre moved to its present home, previously known as the Majestic Theatre - built in 1903. The professional staff increased, as did educational and outreach programs. In 1994-1995 a capital campaign secured the adjacent Wenham building for additional office, classroom, and rehearsal space. Each year over 800 volunteers are involved in all aspects of production, and the School of Theatre Arts annually serves over 2,000 students ages four to adult. A 1999 fund drive allowed the group to improve the facilities and reach their endowment goal of $1 million dollars. Highlighting the theatre's eighth decade of operation is a $10 million renovation to the historic theatre, transforming the four buildings into one integrated structure with significant design improvements to both the interior and the exterior façade.