DSPA Gems, Inc. announces the availability of a minimum of $5,000 in performing arts tuition grant money. This local nonprofit provides performing arts opportunities to children regardless of a family’s ability meet financial obligations.

Shannon Wallace, DSPA Gems, Inc. president, said these funds are available due to a variety of fundraising activities. Some of these fundraisers include Maricopa’s annual city-wide Daddy Daughter Dance, which almost 200 people attended, and the annual Sugar Plum Tea. Funds were raised from ticket sales, the generous bidding on silent auction items and the purchasing of flowers and song dedications.

All grant money awarded will be applied towards tuition for performing arts classes.

In order to qualify to receive grant money, an applicant MUST:
• be aged 2-18 years old and reside in Arizona
• show proof of enrollment in upcoming performing arts classes (if previously enrolled, must have followed all applicable class rules and have maintained regular class attendance)
• show financial need per the debt-to-income ratio worksheet or by providing qualifying papers for reduced or free lunch program through an Arizona public school for the current year
• provide the IRS tax returns of the parent(s) or guardian(s) from the 2 previous years
• write an age appropriate essay about why the child wants to participate in performing arts and how grant recipient requirements will be kept

Tuition grant recipients are selected by the DSPA Gems, Inc. selection committee based upon funds available and need. The selection committee has determined that programs in which the participant is involved in an activity considered a sport are not eligible.

Recipients are required to:
• attend performing arts classes regularly and follow all applicable rules
• maintain an account in good standing with the performing arts class provider
• complete the required number of community service hours determined by the grant selection committee upon award of the tuition grant

The grant application, as well as requirements for grant applicants and recipients can be picked up at Desert Sun Performing Arts, 19756 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 107.

Applications are due and must be post-marked, no later than Feb. 28. Grants will be awarded at DSPA’s 13th annual recital June 8.

Applications may be mailed to: DSPA Gems, Inc., PO Box 736, Maricopa 85139
For further information, email questions to: [email protected]