Performing arts group received $25,000 city grant to open at Sunrise Mall

By Phillip Pesola–
The Citrus Heights City Council last month awarded a $25,000 development grant to a performing arts group that plans to open at Sunrise Mall this summer.

Royal Stage, a non-profit organization established in 2010, offers various courses and summer camps to train students in dance, theater and art. A minimum of eight performances are also usually staged each year.

The organization announced in April that it had signed a three-year lease for 8,200 square feet of space inside Sunrise Mall. Plans are underway for a 200-seat blackbox theater with a lobby, stage, dance studio and concessions area.

The funds came from the city’s Economic Development Support Fund, which was established to provide grants to businesses and other organizations for events, marketing and promotions, economic development studies and other activities that promote program objectives. Stated goals include attracting new buyers, promoting specific business areas, and creating or improving a sense of place.

Royal Stage submitted an application for a $25,000 Economic Development Support Grant on May 17. Economic development staff reviewed the application to confirm eligibility for the program and presented it to the city council’s finance committee for recommendation, according to a city council agenda posted on the city’s website. On June 15, the Finance Committee recommended full approval of the application.

At the June 23 city council meeting, Meghan Huber presented the grant application to council members for final approval. The meeting was streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins spoke in favor of the grant, saying it will help “bring something new to Citrus Heights that we don’t have right now.” She also noted that the theater arts group has been around for over a decade and said that “it speaks well for them” as an established entity.

Mayor Porsche Middleton echoed the Bruins, saying she was “really thrilled to have this opportunity coming to our city.”

The grant award resolution was passed unanimously. The grant will be used to cover the costs of building, marketing and programming the new space.