La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club Awarded $1 Million Grant by The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation
In honor of the centenary of the birth of La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart, the La Mama Experimental Theatre Club has announced a $1 million challenge grant by The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation toward the restoration and renewal of La MaMa's original home at 74A East 4th Street.
Since its founding in 1961, La MaMa has presented 5,000 productions, with 150,000 artists from more than 70 nations, and has nurtured transformative change, bringing underrepresented voices to the public square. This renovated space will provide future generations of global artists with the opportunity to build on La MaMa's rich history, and enable the creative community to continue the unexpected journeys started by their predecessors. The commitment of The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation ensures that La MaMa's 74A East 4th Street building will remain a center for theatre innovation and creativity; designed as an incubator for new works, it will be a space where art begins. The project architect is Beyer Blinder Belle.
La MaMa's 58th Season, now in progress, is a commemoration of Ellen Stewart's centennial that will culminate with the fall 2020 re-opening of the first fully renewed building in the theatre's history, 74A East 4th Street, where the Off-Off-Broadway movement originated. It became a home for artists such as Sam Shepard, Adrienne Kennedy, Philip Glass and Tom O'Horgan, whose astonishing works transformed American and international theatre.
"This remarkable challenge grant makes a great difference for La MaMa, and will excite and motivate our supporters to lift up and inspire the next generation of La MaMa artists," said artistic director, Mia Yoo. Board President, Frank Carucci added, "This generous charitable matching grant awarded by The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation will lay the cornerstone of La MaMa's future."
The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation was formed by Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel to continue and extend their long-term commitment to the common good and the public interest. With this focus, deeply rooted in inclusiveness, social equity and community service, the Foundation seeks out original projects based on results-driven and innovative strategies designed to further a more equitable and just society. The Foundation funds projects to recognize outstanding contributions and creative promise in several priority areas: science and medicine, in support of the advancement of the field of health; innovative educational initiatives; projects of cultural merit; and civic leadership, public affairs, and diplomacy. All funding initiatives are through an invitational process only.
La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961. La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists of all nations, cultures, races and identities. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity are inherent in the work created on our stages. Here, artists find a supportive environment for artistic exploration, and audiences are part of the development of an artist's work over time.
A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award, and more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Ping Chong, André De Shields, Belarus Free Theatre, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Charlotte Braithwaite, Tadeusz Kantor, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Taylor Mac, and artists you haven't heard of yet.
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