Theatre Communications Group, a national membership organization that works to strengthen, nurture, and promote professional nonprofit American theater, has received $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch Leadership U, a grant program designed to support the development of theater leaders at various points in their career. The overall intent of the program is to strengthen the field by developing individuals who are the core and future of theater.
The new program provides support through two initiatives: One-on-One for early-career leaders and Continuing Ed for mid-career and veteran professionals.
The One-on-One initiative seeks to identify exceptionally talented early-career theater professionals who have potential to impact the theater field in a positive way and who are committed to working full-time with a performing arts organization rather than on a freelance basis. The program will nurture early-career leaders in all areas of theater, including but not limited to acting, administration, management, craft areas, design, directing, dramaturgy, literary management, producing, stage management, and technical production. The program will provide six individuals with a $75,000 grant for professional development mentorships lasting sixteen to eighteen months at a TCG member theater, with an additional $5,000 honorarium for their mentor. Supplemental funds up to $10,000 will be available to each mentee for outstanding student loans, approved activities, and/or life needs (i.e. healthcare, child or elder care, or other medical expenses). An additional $4,500 (maximum) will be available for mentee and mentor travel. The mentee applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and must not be a full-time student at a university or conservatory training program at the commencement of the mentorship period (August 1, 2012). The primary mentor must be key personnel and hold a full-time position at a TCG member theater. (Deadline: December 12, 2011.)
The Continuing Ed initiative will award grants of up to $6,000 to eight mid-career to veteran professionals at TCG member theaters for learning opportunities that will advance their leadership skills in artistic, administrative, educational, and production areas. Since these grants are for mid-career and veteran leaders who are established in the field, their activities will be self-supervised. Depending on the goals of the applicant, there may be activities that are learning situations where specific supervision will be built into activities (e.g., classes, workshops, or working directly with an established leader or specialist in the field of theater or in another sector). Grants will be awarded to the applicant's home theater on behalf of the theater practitioner. The theater professional applicant must be key personnel, hold a full-time position at a TCG member theater, and have a minimum of five years' professional experience in the not-for-profit theater field. (Deadline: February 26, 2011; online registration will be available the week of February 26, 2012.)
Complete program guidelines, application procedures, and the application forms are available at the TCG Web site.