This year, the Lucille Lortel Foundation is once again offering general operating support to small and mid-size not-for-profit theater companies. A total of $500,000 will be awarded in 2004 via individual, unrestricted grants in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

The Foundation has already distributed more than $1,000,000 in such grants. It was established by and named for the legendary producer, theater owner, and philanthropist who died in 1999. According to foundation president James J. Ross, "Lucille Lortel gave generously to not-for-profit theaters throughout her life, and these grants continue her long-standing philanthropy. She was particularly responsive to the needs of struggling theaters, which is why we are focusing our attention on the small and mid-size theatres -- because we see them facing the greatest challenges right now."

Applications and more information may be obtained through the Foundation's website, www.lortel.org, or by phoning or e-mailing Shawn Willett at the Lucille Lortel Foundation: 212-924-2817, extension 208, grants@lortel.org. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 16, 2004; grants recipients will be announced on April 30, 2004. In order to be eligible, each applicant theater must have been in operation as a professional, not-for-profit, theater producing organization in New York City for at least three years, with current revenues between $200,000 and $2.5 million. Dance and opera companies are not eligible.