Victory Gardens Awarded David Rockefeller Fund Grant For New Public Programs Initiative

Victory Gardens Awarded David Rockefeller Fund Grant For New Public Programs InitiativeVictory Gardens Theater introduces Public Programs to Envision Justice through the Lens of Theater, a new initiative made possible by a grant from The David Rockefeller Fund. Public Programs is an event series designed to enhance audience experience by exploring themes and issues within Victory Gardens' productions by provoking dialogue and deepening the relationship between audiences and the plays. Public Programs to Envision Justice takes Victory Gardens one step further by building a stream of citizen engagement programs that will contextualize the plays in relation to the issues surrounding criminal justice and lead audiences to understanding their role in affecting change.

Public programs made possible by the support of The David Rockefeller Fund

PANEL: The Injustice System

Post-show Conversation
Saturday, February 10, 2018
following the 7:30pm performance of BREACH: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of black girl recovering from self-hate

The United States has less than 5% of the world's population, yet we are home to almost 25% of the world's prisoners. It's no secret that the criminal justice system in this country needs reform, but what is being done to change it? What are the re-entry resources available to people once they complete their sentences? Join us after the evening performance of BREACH for a conversation with notable formerly- incarcerated activists in Chicago about how we can make our justice system truly just.

PANEL: Your Body: Your Choice

Post-show Conversation
Thursday, February 15, 2018
following the 7:30pm performance of BREACH: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of black girl recovering from self-hate

Reproductive healthcare is a basic human right for women. In today's political climate, such care is not always a guarantee. What is being done in Chicago and around the country to ensure all women have access to the services they need? Join us after the evening performance of BREACH for a discussion with representatives from Planned Parenthood.

PANEL: When the Sentence Doesn't End

Post-show Conversation
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
following the 7:30pm performance of BREACH: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of black girl recovering from self-hate

After having paid their debt to society, many men and women find themselves hampered by societal and legal barriers that make it difficult to get out of the prison loop and not be stigmatized by their past. Join us and our panel of legal and legislative experts as we discuss why Rasheed's story in BREACH is the exception, not the norm, and what we can do to change that.

Details to be announced soon for future Public Programs including a discussion with Judith Royal from the Center on Wrongful Convictions and exoneree Kristine Bush in March and in April a program featuring personal stories from Storycatchers Theatre, a youth development arts organization that guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre

For a complete list of Public Programs to Envision Justice, please visit

About The David Rockefeller Fund

The David Rockefeller Fund was established in 1989 by David Rockefeller and his wife Peggy to carry out their annual charitable giving in communities where they had homes outside New York City. In 2001, David Rockefeller expanded the Fund and invited his children and grandchildren and their spouses to take a more active role in the Fund with the idea of transferring to them the family's philanthropic tradition. The Fund's work provides a learning environment where more than two dozen family members are able to engage in dialogue and grant-making around shared topics of interest.


The David Rockefeller Fund is a family foundation inspired by the vision and generosity of our founders, David and Peggy Rockefeller, to foster and embody a more just, creative, and flourishing world.


We invest in catalytic ideas, people, efforts and institutions working strategically toward ecological regeneration, justice system reform, and art for social impact.

About Victory Gardens Theater

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Za?ek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Za?ek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit Follow us on Facebook at, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at

Victory Gardens Theater receives sustaining support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The REAM Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, and Wallace Foundation. It receives major funding from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and Polk Bros. Foundation. Major funders also include: Allstate Insurance, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Field Foundation of Illinois, Illinois Arts Council Agency, David Rockefeller Fund, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Time Warner Foundation Inc., Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional funding this season is provided by: Alliance Bernstein, Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Chicago Foundation for Women, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Golden Country Oriental Foods, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, ITW, JCCC Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Seabury Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Association. In-kind support is provided by: Dimo's Pizza, Fiesta Mexicana, Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Suite Home Chicago and Whole Foods Market.

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