Auditorium Receives BNSF Foundation Grant

Staff Writer

Richard Smola, Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium Board President, is pleased to announce that SMA has received a $2, 500 grant from BNSF Railroad Foundation. The grant was awarded in support of the 2017-2018 APPLAUSE Series concerts.
This is the third consecutive year that BNSF Foundation has selected Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium as one of their grant recipients. Nolan County and Sweetwater was developed when the railroads came through this area. Nolan County has been a hub for rail transport since the late 1800’s.
BNSF Foundation Board members selected the APPLAUSE Series because of its diverse programming and service to the full community. Concerts are based on 5 themes each season; Broadway, Western Heritage, Christmas, Lift Every Voice, which celebrates the musical contributions of African Americans , and Music Latina, which celebrates the music and dance of Mexico and other Hispanic cultures.
Since its inception, APPLAUSE has enticed over 400 new donors, dozens of new volunteers and a larger audience for the beautiful Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium. Last year’s total attendance for SMA events exceeded 5,000.
In addition to the BNSF grants, the Auditorium has received 10 different Texas Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts grants for musical and arts programming. This year Catholic Foundation of Dallas granted the Auditorium a $1500 grant to underwrite the five concerts for 2017-2018. Dodge Jones Foundation of Abilene awarded the Auditorium Board $25,000 for renovation of the old police department. It is to be used as an art gallery complete with foyer, exhibition space, kitchen and bathrooms. Meadows Foundation of Dallas also awarded $25,000 for the same renovation project.
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