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TCG Reveals Latest Round of Leadership U Grant Recipients


Theatre Communications Group (TCG) announces the 2015 Round 3 Cycle B 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 six 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.

"TCG is committed to supporting the professional development of theatre practitioners, including the mid-career and veteran leaders who so often serve as mentors to others, but who themselves need to continue their own journey of growth," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "With the support of our longstanding partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Leadership U will empower these six practitioners to expand their leadership in areas that include capital campaigns, emerging costume technology, co-production models, and immersive theatre techniques for sensory-friendly performances."

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:

Sara Staley, Director of YouthAware Educational Theatre at New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco, CA), will explore the ways in which theatres in Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York are using traditional storytelling, Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, applied theatre methods, and civic practices (dialogue, engagement, collaboration) to promote societal growth and change in their communities. These practices and methods will be applied to NCTC's YouthAware program with the objective of more deeply engaging young audiences in theatrical work that reflects their community, and empowering them to effect positive change in the world around them.

M. Patricia Rosely, Development Director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Cincinnati, OH), will take a deep dive into the challenges and successes of the facility renovations/building projects and the capital campaigns that supported them at four regional theatres, providing her with a hands-on learning opportunity to positively impact the Playhouse's upcoming capital campaign. Meeting with both development directors and managing directors, she will get insider information on the successes and challenges of capital campaigns, as well as those in the management of the Building Project.

Jennifer Ables, Costume Shop Manager at Dallas Theater Center (Dallas, TX), will travel to New York City to study with some of the top creative minds in the digital printing industry. Ables will observe the process from ideation to programming and scanning to fully-realizing 3D printed products. By exploring its utility in customized clothing and the future of theatrical costuming, this opportunity can change the way Dallas Theater Center makes art, and pioneer a new technology in the field.

Chip Walton, Producing Artistic Director at Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO), will engage founding artistic directors across the field in dialogue that explores the unique challenges of their positions, their decisions to remain with their organizations, and the challenges that they have faced over the evolution of their tenures, as well as their best practices to address those challenges. By doing so, he will find the answers to important questions regarding how our field recognizes, values, and supports founding artistic directors and the relationship these individuals and their organizations have to the respective communities they serve.

Bonnie J Baggesen, General Manager of ArtsEmerson (Boston, MA), will travel to three presenting/producing organizations around the country to meet with managers who have extensive experience navigating the intersection between non-profit and commercial co-production. During these site visits, Bonnie will discuss best practices, structural models, and co-producing approaches that ArtsEmerson can learn from, and, when appropriate, implement in their own co-producing models.

Nancy Schaeffer, Education Director at Dallas Children's Theater (Dallas, TX) will investigate immersive theatre methods at several national and international theatre sites to determine how to best use these practices in the continuation and expansion of sensory-friendly and inclusive programming for youth on the autism spectrum at DCT. This exploration will offer opportunities to observe innovative methods that can help the organization reach an often underserved audience and their families in new and meaningful ways.

The Leadership U[niversity] Continuing Ed Round 3 Cycle B panel included Arnaldo J. López, development officer, Pregones Theater/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater; Dorothy Ryan, managing director at Theatre for a New Audience; and Lane Savadove, founding artistic director, EgoPo Classic Theater.

Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.

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 14 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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