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FCTC gains tax-exempt status

By Staff | Dec 16, 2011

Shakespeare and Dickens will live on in Shepherdstown as a local theatre group has been granted a new lease on life after an arduous federal application process. The Full Circle Theatre Company of Shepherdstown has just been granted federal non-profit, tax exempt status. Obtaining the status was no easy task according to the group; the application process was over three years long and required extensive paper work. The new status opens up a host of possibilities for the group, which can now apply for small arts grants.

The FCTC claims that these small grants alone will not sustain them. These grants have become increasingly competitive in the harsh economic climate. Because of this, the group has reached out to residents to offer donations of $5-500 or more if possible. The group petitioned parents of children who have attended their camps to help sponsor a child, so that they may have the same opportunity.

“We will continue to bring you the thought-provoking and entertaining stage presentations you have come to expect from us. But we can’t do it without your help.” FCTC member Joe Jurand said in an email release to patrons of the theatre.

Donations to organizations with federal 501(c)3 tax exempt status, such as FCTC, qualify for tax deductions on the part of the donor. The FCTC must also now prove to the IRS that at least one-third of the group’s operating income comes from donations in order for them to maintain tax exempt status.

FCTC is an all-volunteer organization; no one on the staff draws any kind of paycheck for their work with the group. The group considers what they do a community service.

FCTC offers multiple services to Shepherdstown residents. The group hosts a youth workshop for young people interested in the performing arts, as well as a summer camp for both those new to and experienced in acting. The beginner’s camp, called “Creative drama” is $125 and the advanced Theater Immersion camp for teens is $250.

FCTC presents multiple shows throughout the year, many of which are written by West Virginia playwrights. They also cover their bases with stage classics. The group just wrapped up a presentation of the seasonal classic “A Christmas Carol.” Upcoming performances at FCTC include a play called “K2” which follows two men as they attempt to climb the world’s second tallest mountain. K2 starts Feb. 3 and will run through Feb. 12