The Young Leaders of Color (YLC) Program was created in 2008 to gather groups of early-career theatre professionals of color from around the US at TCG’s National Conferences to engage in a dialogue about the new generation of leadership. Based on the learnings of YLC, TCG launched the SPARK Leadership Program in 2014, and the Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program in 2016. Together, SPARK and RLC will change the face of the theatre field by nurturing and supporting an intergenerational network of leaders of color at various stages in their careers.
YLC was created in part by TCG to catalyze dialogues about new generations of leadership. TCG was interested in learning more about the goals, challenges, and thoughts of the next generation of leadership from diverse perspectives in order to ensure our programs could best support the field. There were 79 alumni of this program working around the country in the areas of artistic, administrative, education and production.
With the generous support of various funders, TCG was able to provide a limited number of conference stipends to selected early-career leaders of color from around the country. Stipends covered the expense of registration, travel, and housing for the full TCG Conference. In addition, programming was specially designed to benefit the YLC, and included focused discussions and working sessions to develop strategic thinking. The groups convened alongside dozens of theatre professionals in TCG’s grant programs. These informal and structured sessions offer the group opportunities to exchange information about artistic and management experiences, identify solutions to challenges faced in their organizations and the larger field, develop a peer network, and begin new collaborations.