Earlier, LL reported the city is planning to give $10 million to Ford’s Theatre—-that’s the biggest line item of the $27 million in pork contained in Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s proposed budget.

Here’s some more answers on the Ford’s money:

  • A statement released today by the theater itself says that “District support will help us launch a new Center for Education and Leadership, as well as expand the depth and breadth of our existing educational programs, so District residents of all ages will have an enhanced opportunity to learn about Civil War Washington, Abraham Lincoln and his ongoing legacy.”

    The theater, which is run jointly by the National Park Service and the private Ford’s Theatre Society, is amid a capital campaign that aims to raise $40 million for renovations and expansion.

  • On the city side, William Singer, Fenty’s top budget wonk, says the earmark is in keeping with similar projects that the city has funded in the past through earmarks, including Arena Stage and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

    “In different years there’s different projects that stand out,” he says. “It’s not unusual for the District to support an organization’s large capital request.”

Full statement from Ford’s after jump.

Ford’s Theatre Society appreciates Mayor Fenty’s support for our effort to expand our outreach to District students, teachers and families. District support will help us launch a new Center for Education and Leadership, as well as expand the depth and breadth of our existing educational programs, so District residents of all ages will have an enhanced opportunity to learn about Civil War Washington, Abraham Lincoln and his ongoing legacy.

The theatre is managed collaboratively by the National Park Service and Ford’s Theatre Society. In 2007, this public-private partnership initiated a $40+ million capital campaign to support the renovation and expansion project. Funding has already been secured from the federal government through a multi-million dollar grant from the National Park Service. Numerous corporations, foundations and individuals have also contributed to the campaign. The City Council has a long history of supporting arts and cultural organizations in the Nation’s Capital and Ford’s Theatre is grateful for the mayor’s interest in assisting us.

One of Ford’s Theatre Society’s highest priorities is to grow the theatre’s existing programs and extend its resources to District residents in all eight Wards. When it reopens, Ford’s Theatre will be both a destination for District families and a resource to support the education and leadership development of its young people.

Ford’s Theatre education programs will be administered on campus, off campus and online. In school or out, District students, teachers, families and adult learners will be equipped with tools for exploring Lincoln’s legacy.

During the construction period, Ford’s Theatre continues to serve District residents through a series of special programs and services, some of which are:

• Free performances and student workshops at District schools and community centers to bring history alive through one-act plays that deliver social studies lessons via the performing arts. Teachers also receive a CD-ROM of educational materials to use with students before and after the performances of One Destiny and Grant and Lee.

• A partnership with the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site at Cedar Hill in Anacostia to enhance and expand its existing annual oratory competition and increase DCPS student participation. Ford’s Theatre is offering after-school programs in public speaking and debate, and providing training and counsel for teachers.

• Walking monologues, called “History on Foot,” to introduce schools and families to “Lincoln’s Washington.” Beginning April 30th, tours will be led by in-costume, in-character guides twice daily on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

• Free professional development seminars for DCPS middle school teachers through the Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows Program. This four-day experiential learning program provides training on the usage of oratory in the classroom to enhance students’ reading comprehension and understanding of historical events.

The new Ford’s Theatre campus will remain a primary destination and economic anchor for a revitalized “entertainment district” in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. More importantly, the programs and resources planned for the new Center for Education and Leadership will provide substantive educational enrichment experiences for the District’s students and residents, both on site and throughout the city.

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