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Metzler Initiative


The Metzler Initiative to Expand the Performing Arts at the Folly Theater provides support to and uplifts small and mid-sized arts organizations by subsidizing theater rental costs to elevate their public profile, expand their audience, develop and showcase the talents of their artists, enhance the production values of their work, and build a stronger organizational future through performances in the historic Folly Theater.

Up to five grants will be awarded each year for an amount up to 75% of the Folly production costs including theater rental, union labor, staff and security, custodial and equipment rental; not to exceed $8,000.

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. After a $4.2 million renovation completed in 2022, artists and audiences will enjoy refreshed and more accessible spaces that include upgrades to backstage areas, more comfortable seating, a new technology suite, and enhanced lobby and bar spaces.

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

Applications accepted for performances from May 2024-December 2025. 

To be considered for funding through the Metzler Initiative, an organization must:

  • Be a recognized non-profit arts organization in good standing (copy of annual registration letter or IRS determination letter required);
  • Plan to serve the greater Kansas City community through the proposed public performance(s) at the Folly Theater.

It is expected that this grant will be used for one or more of the following purposes: expand or cultivate new audiences, enhance production values, elevate the organization’s public profile and recognition of its artists, promote diversity, and/or present new works which will contribute to Kansas City’s creative arts ecology.

Grant recipients are expected to submit a report to the Folly within two months of the Folly performance date. The Folly will issue the report form, and organizations will need to include information on event statistics such as how the funds were used and if program goals were met.

Pre-Application Deadline: February 15, 2024

For consideration of a grant under the Metzler Initiative at the Folly Theater, an organization must first submit a Pre-Application form which allows staff to assess date availability and estimate production costs for the proposed performance.  A member of Folly Staff will return these estimates to the organization within one week.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Organizations wishing to proceed with the full grant application will utilize the information from the production estimate to build a budget to include in the full grant application.

Please direct all application materials and any questions to Melissa Stan at  

Application Documents
Metzler Initiative Pre-Application Form

Metzler Initiative Grant Application