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Metzler-Copaken Initiative

5th Year Call for Grant Applications

This Initiative was established in 2016 by Bunni and Paul Copaken to celebrate the life and legacy of their close friend, Steve Metzler.

The Initiative provides underwriting to small and mid-sized nonprofits (annual budget less than $1.5M) to present a performance(s) at the Folly Theater.  Applications should be designed to fulfill one or more of the following outcomes:

  • elevate your organization’s public profile;
  • expand and/or cultivate new audiences;
  • promote diversity;
  • enhance production values with the Folly’s expertise and facilities; and/or
  • present new works which will contribute to Kansas City’s creative arts ecology.

The C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater boasts excellent acoustics and a 1,005 maximum seating capacity.  This fall the theater will reopen following a $4.2 million renovation, offering audiences and artists refreshed spaces, including all new seating, carpet, and drapes, and refurbished lobbies, restrooms, and dressing rooms.

We at the Folly Theater look forward to receiving your submission and hope to work with you in the coming season!  We urge you to share this information with other arts colleagues who might be interested in applying.

Photo of Steve Metzler for Folly Forever Fund Page

C. Stephen Metzler (1948 – 2015)

How to Apply

We encourage you to apply for a 2022-23 Metzler-Copaken Initiative grant.  Funding is available to support performance(s) presented at the Folly Theater between November 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.  Up to $30,000 total funding is available this grant cycle.  Grants are available for up to 75% of Folly production costs; typical grant awards range from $3,500 to $7,000.

Step 1:  Complete the Metzler-Copaken Initiative Pre-Application/Rental Inquiry Form (attached) and return to Stephanie Spatz-Ornburn.  If you have any questions about the form, contact Stephanie at or 816-768-6880. Submissions will be accepted beginning July 18, 2022.  Submission deadline: August 3, 2022.

Step 2:  Stephanie will provide you with a production cost estimate.  This information is required on the grant application.

Step 3:  Complete the Metzler-Copaken Initiative Funding Application Form (attached) and return to Brian Williams. If you have any questions about the application, contact Brian at or 816-768-6886. Applications will be accepted beginning August 8, 2022.  Application deadline: September 1, 2022.

This is a competitive grant process; not all applicants will be awarded funding. The grant review committee will evaluate applications and announce awards by September 23, 2022.

Application Documents

FY23 Metzler-Copaken Initiative Pre-Application Form (Deadline of August 3, 2022)

FY23 Metzler-Copaken Application (Deadline of September 1, 2022)

FY23 Metzler-Copaken Initiative Announcement