The Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts was awarded a $25,000 grant for marketing expenses of the 2021 summer season by the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission (KCCRVC).

The grant will be used by the Wagon Wheel to fund advertising, marketing and promotional expenditures of the 2021 summer season in an effort to promote both the KCCRVC and Wagon Wheel’s mission of increasing visitor spending to local businesses.

Jay Michaels, executive director of the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts, said, “We are very grateful for this help during a most stressful time. By having to postpone our entire summer season this year, we have lost more than $700,000 in anticipated ticket sales. Without the programs, our expenses are lower, of course, but the loss of ticket sale revenue has significantly reduced our availability to promote and market what will be a major tourism attraction next summer.”

The Wagon Wheel will celebrate its 65th summer season next year with “Wizard of Oz,” “Guys & Dolls,” “The Music Man,” “BIG: the Musical,” “Pride & Prejudice” and “Nunsense.”

Terry White, chair of the Wagon Wheel board, said, “We are humbled and grateful for this show of support for the arts while we are unable to gain ticket-sale revenue. Our community friends have responded magnificently, and we are grateful for every dollar in gifts and grants that will help us bridge over this difficult period.  Soon we’ll be back with performances – thank you for hanging in there with us!”

The KCCRVC is solely funded through the Innkeeper’s Tax, a tax collected from individuals who stay at Kosciusko County lodging properties. The KCCRVC’s purpose is to promote the development and growth of the convention, recreation and visitor industry in Kosciusko County through the disbursement of funds to qualified organizations.

The nonprofit Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts encompasses four programs: the professional Wagon Wheel Theatre, Center Street Community Theatre, Wagon Wheel Jr. for children and the Symphony of the Lakes. A modified schedule for resumption of programs is available on the Wagon Wheel’s Facebook page or at www.wagonwheelcenter.org/.