NBC is putting its money where its drama is, giving $500,000 to high schools in concert with the premiere of Rise, a new series (March 13, 10 ET/PT) that revolves around a small-town high-school theater program.

The network Monday announced the 50 recipients, chosen from 1,000 school applicants around the country, that will receive NBC’s $10,000 R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America Grants, designed to assist theater programs with production expenses, technical equipment, master classes and other needs. NBC is partnering with the non-profit Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) on the program.

Rise centers on Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor), a dedicated teacher who takes over his school’s lackluster theater department, bringing together the faculty, students and the whole working-class town. It also stars Rosie Perez, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Marley Shelton and Rarmian Newton.

Rosie Perez, left, and Josh Radnor star in NBC's 'Rise.'
Peter Kramer, NBC

It has a top producing pedigree with Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton) serving as executive producers.

The 50 winning high schools (in alphabetical order by state) are:

1. Charles Henderson High School (Troy, Ala.)

2. American Canyon High School (American Canyon, Calif.)

3. Henry J. Kaiser High School (Fontana, Calif.)

4. Mariposa County High School (Mariposa, Calif.)

5. Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (San Fernando, Calif.)

6. Seaside High School (Seaside, Calif.)

7. Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (Denver, Colo.)

8. Enfield High School (Enfield, Conn.)

9. School Without Walls (Washington, D.C.)

10. Hallandale High School (Hallandale Beach, Fla.)

11. Plant City High School (Plant City, Fla.)

12. The Howard School (Atlanta, Ga.)

13. Nanakuli High and Intermediate School (Waianae, Hawaii)

14. Jefferson High School (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

15. Glenbard West High School (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)

16. Scecina Memorial High School (Indianapolis, Ind.)

17. Leavenworth High School (Leavenworth, Kan.)

18. Boyle County High School (Danville, Ky.)

19. Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School (Kenner, La.)

20. The Baltimore City College (Baltimore, Md.)

21. Hamtramck High School (Hamtramck, Mich.)

22. Pine Island High School (Pine Island, Minn.)

23. Gautier High School (Gautier, Miss.)

24. Grand Center Arts Academy (St. Louis, Mo.)

25. Park High School (Livingston, Mont.)

26. Malcolm Public Schools, District 148 (Malcolm, Neb.)

27. Belmont High School (Belmont, N.H.)

28. Bound Brook High School (Bound Brook, N.J.)

29. Union Senior High School (Union, N.J.)

30. Digital Arts & Technology Academy (Albuquerque, N.M.)

31. Equipo Academy East Las Vegas College Prep (Las Vegas, Nev.)

32. Hastings High School (Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y.)

33. Peekskill High School (Peekskill, N.Y.)

34. James N Gamble Montessori (Cincinnati, Ohio)

35. Dublin Scioto High School (Dublin, Ohio)

36. Henryetta High School (Henryetta, Okla.)

37. Regis St. Mary Catholic School (Stayton, Ore.)

38. Harry S. Truman High School (Levittown, Pa.)

39. Mastery Charter Schools Foundation (Philadelphia, Pa.)

40. Central Falls High School (Central Falls, R.I.)

41. Deubrook Area School District 5-6 (White, S.Dd)

42. Jackson County High School (Gainesboro, Tenn.)

43. John Overton Comprehensive High School (Nashville, Tenn.)

44. Alice High School (Alice, Texas)

45. Jack Yates High School (Houston, Texas)

46. Pharr San Juan Alamo North Early College High School (Pharr, Texas)

47. Heritage High School (Leesburg, Va.)

48. Rainier Beach High School (Seattle, Wash.)

49. Hudson High School (Hudson, Wis.)

50. Martinsburg High School (Martinsburg, W. Va.)

Katims, also the show’s creator,championed the high schools that will benefit.

“I am excited about the notion that the R.I.S.E. America grants will help support, inspire and nurture creative young minds throughout the country, especially at a time when arts in education is under-valued and under-funded,” Katims said in a statement. “I am blown away by the generosity of NBC and (Entertainment chairman) Bob Greenblatt, along with the efforts of the Educational Theatre Foundation, who have made this all possible.”

To qualify for a grant, high schools were required to have a theater program or champion of theater arts on the teaching staff, and a program endangered due to budget constraints. Each school submitted a video about its program and a 500-word essay on why it deserved the money and what would be done with it.