Metzler – Copaken Initiative


The “METZLER-COPAKEN INITIATIVE TO EXPAND THE PERFORMING ARTS AT THE FOLLY THEATER” was established by Bunni and Paul Copaken to celebrate the life and legacy of their close friend, C. Stephen  Metzler. Steve was a passionate advocate for the arts, and was instrumental in the revitalization of the Folly Theater.

The Initiative supports small and mid-sized arts organizations by providing an opportunity to elevate their public profile, expand their audience, develop and showcase the talents of their artists, enhance the production values of their work, and/or build a stronger organizational future through performances in the historic Folly Theater.

Up to four grants will be awarded each year, for an amount not to exceed the lesser of 75% of the Folly rental costs (including theater rental, labor, and equipment rental charges), or $8,000. The combined total amount of the grants will be $24,000 for each of the first three years.

To be added to the application distribution list please email Brian Williams, Development Director, at [email protected]


Grant Policies

In order to be considered for funding through the METZLER – COPAKEN INITIATIVE, an organization must:

  1. Be a recognized non-profit arts organization in good standing (copy of annual registration letter or IRS determination letter required).
  2. Have an annual operations budget of no less than $150,000, and no more than $1,250,000.
  3. Plan to serve individuals in the Kansas City area through the proposed public performance(s) at the Folly Theater.

Application Requirements

Along with the prior policies, there are new requirements this year that must be fulfilled prior to and after the application process. Please read below the outlined high priority requirements of the application.

  1. Applicants must contact Stephanie Spatz-Ornburn, Events Manager, by no later than May 14th to begin the process of estimating rental and labor costs for your proposed event at the Folly and determining the availability of rental dates for your event.
  2. A date must be placed on hold with prior to submitting the application.
  3. The grant must be acknowledged in all printed promotional materials in the same manner and size other similar sized grants that are received.
  4. A final Grant Report must be submitted within 60 days after the event.
Failure to comply with these requirements may disqualify the organization from consideration for subsequent grants.

Any proposed performance date/s must be cleared with the Folly Theater prior to submitting this application.

It is expected that this grant will be used: to expand or cultivate new audiences, and/or to enhance production values, and/or to elevate the organization’s public profile and recognition of its artists, and/or to promote diversity, and/or present new works which will contribute to Kansas City’s creative arts ecology. The recipient of a grant is expected to report to the Folly, as administrator of the Initiative, within two months of the Folly performance date, as to the actual use of the funds and the results produced with the grant. A report form will be provided.