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Tower Foundation Receives Major Grant from OCF

Tower Foundation Receives Major Grant from OCF The Tower Theatre Foundation has received a $50,000 grant over three years from the Roy and Diane Marvin Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to hire an education coordinator and expand the nonprofit’s LessonPLAN (Performing Live Arts Now) Series. The Tower’s award-winning LessonPLAN programming has reached nearly 10,000 students and educators over the past three seasons. The initiative enhances students’ classwork by bringing them to the theatre for performances and taking performers into schools for assemblies, master classes, and residencies.
The Tower has hired Mollie Tennant as its newly-created Education Coordinator. Many Bend theatre-goers know Mollie as Lady of the Lake in “Spamalot” and Fantine in “Les Miserables.” With a degree in Speech and Communications from the University of Oregon, Mollie has two decades of experience in professional performing arts: singing and implementing family activities for Princess Cruises; starring at Bally’s in Las Vegas; and organizing, training, scheduling, and coordinating logistics between singers, dancers, and technical crews.
Todd Dickerson, the Tower Foundation’s Development Director, said: “As our education programming grew, we needed a dedicated staff member to manage, integrate, and strengthen our efforts. The Tower is grateful for the support from the Oregon Community Foundation and their commitment to the education of youth in Central Oregon. Mollie brings a clear understanding and deep passion for enriching education through performing arts for students across Central Oregon.” 

LessonPLAN offers six shows in 2014-2015 to public, private and home school educators. The first was an educational matinee at the Tower by African troupe Cirque Zuma Zuma for 450 fourth- and fifth graders from five elementary schools. November 10, “eco-magician” Steve Trash performs two school assemblies, preceded by a hands-on recycled art project in conjunction with Arts Central. Portland’s BodyVox dancers present a special student show at the Tower November 13. LessonPLAN activities in 2015 include “Toying with Science,” “Laura Ingalls Wilder,” and “The Ghosts of Mary Lincoln.”
The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support community causes. The Oregon Community Foundation makes grants through an application process that involves local citizens in the review and evaluation of requests for funds. Application materials are available through the Foundation’s Portland office. Individuals or businesses interested in establishing a fund may contact the Bend office at 15 SW Colorado Ave., Suite 375, or call 541-382-1170.

The nonprofit Tower Theatre Foundation owns and operates the historic stage in downtown Bend. The Foundation’s mission is to be the leading performing arts organization, providing cultural and education programs that make an essential contribution to Central Oregon’s lifestyle and strengthen the community. Membership, program information and individual and group tickets are available at the box office (835 NW Wall), by phone (541-317-0700) or online ( Details on events are also at

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