In 1992, six theatres came together to form a collaborative group of theatres, to build the theatre community, to recognize excellence, and to work together rather than compete. Since that time, the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation has grown to include both community and educational theatres, supporting their work with marketing, fundraising, administrative support, and community development opportunities that allow each theatre to focus on creating arts of excellence in their own unique styles and offerings. We also connect participants, patrons, and theatre lovers to the theatres to attend, volunteer, learn about, and support the important quality of life driver that theatre is in Northwest Indiana.
For several years, NIETF ran Theatrepalooza, an event featuring free excerpts of shows from our theatres as a way to showcase the breadth of theatrical offerings across the region. In 2021, NIETF morphed it to the full Third Coast Theatre Festival where patrons can purchase a single ticket experience to multiple full-length productions across the region.
We are an all-volunteer nonprofit, just like many of our theatres, who relies on the generous support of donors, patrons, sponsors, grantors, and other supporters. We regularly receive grant funding through the National Endowment for the Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, and South Shore Arts. We are governed by a volunteer board of directors who are actors, directors, designers, and theatre patrons themselves.