(LAKEWOOD, NJ) – Strand Ventures, Inc., a qualified non-profit arts and cultural organization that manages the daily operations of the historic Strand Theater, also known as the Strand Center for the Arts has been awarded $30,000 by the OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River that will support operations of the Strand; a premier arts, cultural and historical destination delivering high quality entertainment, arts education and cultural programs throughout the Central New Jersey Region, especially serving populations in both Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Founded in 1996, OceanFirst Foundation is the first foundation in the nation to be established by a bank as a part of an initial public offering. OceanFirst Foundation has contributed nearly $22 million to over 600 local charities in Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex counties since its inception. Its four priorities include Housing, Health and Wellness, Improving the Quality of Life, and Youth Development and Education. For more information about OceanFirst Foundation and the Arts & Cultural Grant Program, visit www.oceanfirstfdn.org or call 732-341-4676.
The historic Strand Theater, located at 400 Clifton Ave. in Lakewood, was designed by world-renowned theater architect Thomas Lamb in 1922 and is listed on the N.J. and National Register of Historic Places. The Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC) purchased the Strand in 1999. A program of capital improvements by the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) provided the funding, at no cost to the taxpayers, for the construction, renovation and restoration of the theater, inside and outside.
Today the Strand Theater is considered an anchor in the downtown for creating economic growth, providing incentives for job creation, and attracting pedestrian traffic. The Strand offers year-round entertainment in plush, air-conditioned surroundings. It is a perfect venue to showcase comedians, musicals, dinner theater, stars from television and movies, and legendary musical entertainers. The reception gallery includes a catering facility for 250 people, a dance floor, and restrooms. It is ideal for theater-in-the-round, smaller events and receptions.
The Strand relies on the support of Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Township of Lakewood, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; and the LDC and the UEZ programs along with many businesses, organizations, and individuals.