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AARLCC Receives Grant to Produce an Original Stage Play about Esther Rolle

BROWARD COUNTY, FL - An original play about Pompano Beach native and acclaimed actor Esther Rolle will be produced with funding from a 2020 Art of Community grant from the Community Foundation of Broward awarded to the African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC), 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311, 954-357-6282.

 The objective of the Art of Community grant is to bring the arts to Broward neighborhoods to ignite creativity and local pride. The $30,000 matching grant was awarded to support the production of an original stage play inspired by the achievements of Esther Rolle. Let the Good Times Rolle: The Life and Legacy of Esther Rolle at 100 will be performed at AARLCC on Saturday, November 7th at 2PM and 8PM.

The play is a part of a community-wide effort in November to celebrate the late actor’s centennial birthday. Rolle is best known for her role as matriarch Florida Evans on the 70s sitcom Good Times. An Emmy Award-winning actor, Rolle excelled on stage and screen. An archive documenting Rolle’s life and career is housed at AARLCC, which the playwrights will draw upon to illuminate the lesser-known aspects of her career and identity.  

The Let the Good Times Rolle creative production team is led by Director Keith C. Wade, theatre professor at Florida Memorial University; Assistant Director, Darius V. Daughtry, founder and director of Art Prevails Project; and playwrights Sarahca Peterson, founder of The Round Table Project; and Monique Williams, published author and performance poet.

The project will invite public participation in script readings, previews of the play, and in discussions about Rolle’s impact and legacy. Learn about developments with the project on @RollewithAARLCC on Instagram and Twitter and on Facebook. Anyone interested in supporting this project as a financial backer or future intern/volunteer may contact Makiba Foster, Regional Manager of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, at or 954-357-6176.

Support has been provided by the following funds at the Community Foundation of Broward:  Edward Hashek and John Jors Charitable Fund, A Fund for the Performing Arts, John D. Ryan Fund, Linda and Michael Carter Fund, and Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund.

About the Community Foundation of Broward
Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Broward helps families, individuals, and corporations create personalized charitable Funds that deliver game-changing philanthropic impact. 453 charitable Funds represent more than $197 million in assets, distributing $100 million in grants over the past 34 years. The Community Foundation provides bold leadership on community solutions and fosters philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter - which empowers visionaries, innovators and doers to BE BOLD and create the change they want to see in the community.

About Broward County Libraries Division
Broward County Libraries Divisionnamed 2015 Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association, was founded in 1974 and is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 7.5 million walk-in customers visiting its 38 locationsannually. Broward County Libraries Division provides convenient access to a full range of innovative and cost-effective services that satisfy the changing needs of the people of Broward County for information, education and recreation. Visit our website,, or follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter.

DATE: April 9, 2020
Catherine McElrath
Libraries Division