Community Submitted Content
The Ritz Theatre Company (The Ritz), which was founded to bring live, quality, professional productions to the region while making theater accessible to all, received a $3,000 grant from the Community Foundation of South Jersey’s (CFSJ) South Jersey Covid-19 Response Fund.
After a virtual summer camp in 2020, a scaled-down camp in 2021, and having endured an 18- month shutdown, finances for the theater were tight.
The Ritz received PPE loans, funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Camden County, and a Shuttered Venues grant for small businesses that kept the theater going and secured needed jobs, but the grant from CFSJ provided the funds needed to keep the camp experience alive.
“Thanks to CFSJ, our camp will not be scaled-down, but back to full capacity with eight instructors and both a junior and senior camp,” said Donna Miller, the Director of Development for The Ritz. “In fact, the junior and senior camps are already filled to capacity! The staff is so excited to be able to share their love of theater with kids at camp after such a difficult time and we couldn’t thank CFSJ enough for helping us make this happen.”
Research shows involvement in theater helps kids develop empathy; build self-confidence; and cultivate strong communication skills, time management, and problem-solving. Kids who are involved with The Ritz become lifelong supporters of the arts and the community.
The funding from CFSJ this year will allow kids to experience the difference theater can make and allow the theater to keep awarding scholarships to its rising stars.
“Being able to help youth find their passion, work at it, and see it through this summer is gratifying,” said Andy Fraizer, Executive Director of CFSJ. “The arts were hit hard by the pandemic and we view the arts as a way to bring the community together, hence the investment in the historic Ritz Threate Company summer program.”
The company has performed for 37 years in the iconic theater building right on the White Horse Pike in Haddon Township.
As patrons make their way back to the theater, the staff is working hard to keep actors and patrons safe. Keeping the arts alive in South Jersey is vital to the community, and The Ritz is so thankful for CFSJ and its support.
The Ritz Theatre Company
The Ritz Theatre Company engages and enriches Delaware Valley audiences by producing professional, diverse entertainment while training artists of all levels in a historic NJ landmark.
Throughout our rich history, we’ve aspired to make theatre accessible to everyone, to entertain our audiences with favorites, to challenge them (and ourselves) with complex works, to provide onstage training for actors, to introduce kids to the magic of live theatre, and to help restore the historic building we call our home.
Learn more about the Ritz Theatre Company at ritztheatreco.org/.
Community Foundation of South Jersey
The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give.
The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity.
By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all.
Currently, CFSJ manages assets of more than $30 million. Alongside its fund holders, CFSJ has issued more than $10 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships.
Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.