Wed10222014

Schools

Packard recommends grant for school theaters

The Packard Foundation has recommended a $75,000 grant to the Los Altos Cultural Association for the Performing Arts Facilities Fund to equip both the Los Altos and Mountain View high school theaters, said Nancy Glaze, director of the Arts Program. "It will not be official until Sept.13, but Packard is enthusiastic about the project," she added.

The Packard Foundation first donated $196,200 to the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District (MVLA) towards the theaters in 1999, bringing their total donations to $271,200, Glaze added.

The 350-seat theaters are scheduled for completion in November and ready for occupancy in January, according to association chairman John Moss. Funding for the performing arts centers came out of the $58 million bond measure approved in June 1995.

"The theaters will be available for community use when they are not being used by the schools," Moss said.

The association is working to raise $300,000 for curtains, stage lights, projectors and sound equipment which was not covered in the bond issue.

To date, the association has raised about $165,000 through private donations and grants, Moss said. The Los Altos Community Foundation and the Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation has donated $10,000 each.

"We could have never provided the level of quality we are able to put into these theaters, without the generosity of the Packard Foundation," said Rich Fischer, superintendent of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District. "The Packard Foundation sees the value of performing arts in the education of young people."

Packard hopes its donations will inspire others to be in the giving spirit, said Glaze.

"The grant will be a match to encourage community contributions," she said. "We decide to move forward with grants for these types of projects in instances where we see that we can leverage other funds and bring the quality of the completed capital project to a higher level than public funds will permit."

Each donation of $1,000 or more will be recognized by a donor wall, which will be duplicated at each theater. The wall will feature bricks engraved with the name of each donor, said Moss.

Formal names for the theaters have yet to be decided, but the association has recommended to the school board that the theaters be named after their respective mascots, Spartan Theater and Eagle Theater.

The Packard Foundation has a generous history with MVLA.

In 1999 it donated $230,000 to renovate the music building at Los Altos High. That same year it donated $100,000 to Mountain View High for musical instruments, Glaze said.

"I think they are spectacularly generous to the local community," Moss said. "We are really fortunate to have them in town."

Send tax-deductible donations to: High School Performing Arts Facilities Fund, 171 Main St., No. 242, Los Altos, CA 94022.

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