Bolstering Theater Education in Louisiana

A donation of a hundred grand for the performing arts may be no big deal in Manhattan or Los Angeles, but it is in Louisiana. While the performing arts have always been rich in Louisiana, funding for the arts and arts education has not been so abundant. However, private donors throughout the state are working to change that. One such donor is Al Danos, who recently presented the Nicholls State University Foundation with a $100,000 check to be used for hiring an architect for the Mary M. Danos Theater renovation project.

Nicholls State University is located in Thibodaux, Louisiana and is one of the leading performing arts universities in the state. Never heard of it, right? Well, rest assured that every high school student in the state dreaming of working in the theater certainly knows about Nicholls.

The theater is located in Talbot Hall and was named after Danos' late wife, Mary Danos, in April 2012. Nicholls is planning $1.6 million in renovations for the theater. These will include new lighting and sound systems, seats, curtains, accommodations to make the theater accessible to the handicapped, architectural changes, and backstage remodeling.

Mary Martin Danos was a native of Golden Meadow, Louisiana and resident of Cut Off, Louisiana when she died at age 62. She was a Catholic church parishioner and Eucharistic Minister that had a passion for giving to the community she was a part of, especially in the areas of theater. Danos loved theater and performing arts and thought it enriched the community.

She was a board member of the Friends of the Rosary and president of the Mary and Al Danos Family Foundation, which was founded in 2001. Danos was so passionate about the foundation that her family requested donations be made to it instead of flowers bought for her funeral.