TCG Announces Grants for Mid-Career, Veteran Theatre Professionals

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) announces the 2015 Round 3 Cycle A recipients of the Leadership U[niversity]-Continuing Ed program. Through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, grants of up to $5,000 will support four mid-career and veteran theatre professionals at TCG Member Theatres for learning opportunities to advance their leadership skills. The goal of this program is to strengthen the field by developing the individuals who are the core and the future of theatre.

"It can be difficult for mid-career and veteran theatre professionals to create space for new learning opportunities amidst their busy schedules," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "With the support of our long-standing partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Leadership U will empower these four practitioners to expand their leadership skills in areas that include costume design, rural audience engagement strategies and equity-based facilitator training."

Leadership U[niversity] awards grants in two initiatives: One-on-One for early-career leaders and Continuing Ed for mid-career and veteran professionals. Continuing Ed grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to mid-career to veteran professionals at TCG Member Theatres for learning opportunities to advance their leadership skills. Grants have been awarded to the applicants' home theatres on behalf of the theatre practitioners.

Continuing Ed Grant Recipients:

Creede Repertory Theatre, Elizabeth Zurn, Audience Development Associate (Creede, CO)

Creede Repertory Theatre's Audience Development Associate, Elizabeth Zurn, will conduct interviews with and travel to five theatres to explore best practices for administering, funding, and evaluating audience enrichment activities at rural theatres. She will integrate this knowledge into Creede Repertory Theatre's programming and disseminate information to other interested theatres. This research will develop her skills as a collaborative leader both at her theatre and in the growing field of audience enrichment. It will also improve Creede Rep's programming, enhance the experience of theatergoers, build relationships between theatres that are commonly isolated, and make these best practices easily accessible to other rural theatres.

Indiana Repertory Theatre, Jennifer Turner, Associate Director of Development (Indianapolis, IN)

Indiana Repertory Theatre's Associate Director of Development, Jennifer Turner, will learn and implement new fundraising strategies along with new community/partnership building skills in order to continue to stabilize and grow their development program. This will provide a new foundation of ideas for herself as well as staff and the board development committees as their theatre continues to grow their annual campaign and begins the process of launching a capital campaign.

Lark Play Development Center, Michael Robertson, Managing Director (New York, NY)

The Lark's Managing Director Michael Robertson will embark on a personalized equity and inclusion curriculum focused on facilitation training and knowledge-building. His collaborators will include Carmen Morgan (Leadership Development in Intergroup Relations), Sharifa Johka (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Leslie Ishii (independent artist and activist), and the Interaction Institute for Social Change. He will further his leadership skills to become more deeply involved in organizational and field-wide changes with respect to inclusion, access and equity. Robertson will investigate how organizations are implementing systemic change(s) related to issues of equity and increase his knowledge of systemic racial oppression so that he can be a more effective communicator, collaborator and facilitator.

The Old Globe, Charlotte Devaux shields, Resident Associate Costume Designer (San Diego, CA)

The Old Globe's Resident Associate Costume Designer, Charlotte Devaux shields, will engage in an intensive immersion in the UK to explore aspects of the world's greatest collections of historical costume and gain insight and inspiration from leading costume professionals. Research activities include investigating expert methods of organizing, archiving, and exhibiting costume collections; examining the anatomy of authentic costume for future replication; and viewing special exhibitions of historical costume and contemporary fashion. This project will expand her knowledge of authentic costume design and construction techniques while strengthening her ability to lead, advise, and support others' success in designing and building compelling costumes at The Old Globe.

The Leadership U[niversity] Continuing Ed Round 3 Cycle A panel included Scott RC Levy, Executive Director, Performing Arts & Producing Artistic Director, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Michael McCurdy, Managing Director, Arkansas Repertory Theatre; and Rebecca Novick, Associate Artistic Director, California Shakespeare Theater.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a private philanthropic institution that makes grants on a selective basis in five core program areas: Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities, Arts and Cultural Heritage, Diversity, Scholarly Communications, and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects. To advance greater coordination among its program areas, the Foundation promotes diversity and inclusion, digital media, the public humanities and arts, and international collaboration. Through the Arts and Cultural Heritage program (ACH), the Foundation nurtures, studies, and preserves exceptional creative accomplishment, while seeking to promote a diverse and sustainable ecosystem for the arts. By the end of 2013, the total endowment was approximately $6.1 billion; annual grantmaking came to approximately $235 million. In 2004 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded a National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.

For over 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. TCG is North America's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 13 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning AMERICAN THEATRE magazine and ARTSEARCH, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.

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