TCG Bulletin

July 2009, Volume 32, Issue 7

Also online this month:


For the July Field Letter, Teresa asked TCG's director of audience development, Phillip Matthews, to write about nationwide audience trends and the work that TCG is doing to assist theatres across the country in their audience development efforts. Phillip offers descriptions of many of the audience development programs administered by TCG, including Free Night of Theater, which will have its fifth anniversary on October 15. He writes, "The program provides a unique opportunity for theatres, service organizations, arts councils and even city governments to collaborate on a nationwide initiative that increases theatre visibility, provides new sponsorship opportunities and introduces new audiences to the joy of theatre for the first time. Theatres are then provided with successful audience retention “best practices” that assist in bringing those patrons back. "

Monthly Mental Health Moment

Several years ago, inmates at a Filipino prison rose to cyber-stardom when a video of their reenactment of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” went viral. Last week, after Jackson died, they reprised their efforts with an epic dance tribute to a medley of Jackson’s songs. The prisoners had only ten hours to rehearse the ten-minute dance sequence, and the results were seamless—can your actors do that?!

As it turns out, dancing is mandatory at Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Center—it was introduced as a means of rehabilitating prisoners, and according to prison officials, it has played an instrumental role in drastically reducing violence and gang activity among inmates. While these videos are great tributes to the King of Pop, they're also great tributes to the transformative power of the arts. On a related note, in last month’s issue of American Theatre Eliza Bent’s Strategies column focused on a theatre program for ex-convicts. Similarly, these actors were “transformed by their confidence and pride in participating in such an important and unusual adventure.”



Theatre Facts 2008 Soon to be Released

Each year, TCG conducts a thorough fiscal survey in which many of our member theatres participate. The data gathered in the Fiscal Survey becomes the basis for Theatre Facts, TCG’s annual in-depth industry report. Theatre Facts is the only document analyzing the national not-for-profit theatre field and is a vital advocacy and policy tool for trustees, foundation and corporate executives, policy makers and the national press.

Action: Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement. We expect to release Theatre Facts 2008 within the first few weeks of July

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Save the Date: Fall Forum 2009 on Governance in New York City

The date for this year’s Fall Forum has been set for November 6-8 in New York, NY.

Action: Visit the Fall Forum section of the website for more information. Mark your calendars for November 6-8!

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Register for the TCG Brain Bank!

UPDATED This story was originally published in the June 2009 issue of the Bulletin.
The first batch of TCG Brain Bank participants has been matched and their partnerships are well under way. In addition, we experienced a great turnout for “TCG Brain Bank: Live at the Conference!” Both programs have generated extremely positive feedback from participants. Executive leadership at TCG member theatres are encouraged to register to be a Knowledge Donor or a Peer today!

Action: Visit the Brain Bank section of the website to learn more and register.

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More Free Night Program Research Released

UPDATED This story was originally published in the June 2009 issue of the Bulletin.
In addition to the Free Night 2008 research announced in the June Bulletin, we are happy to share the results of an exciting "intrinsic value" study that nationally renowned researcher Alan Brown has done on the San Francisco Free Night program.

Action: Visit the Research & Demographics page in the Free Night section of the website for details on both research reports. Also, be sure to check out the July Field Letter which focuses on audience development and the Free Night program.

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2009-2010 TCG Theatre Membership Renewals

UPDATED This story was originally published in the June 2009 issue of the Bulletin.
The deadline for TCG Theatre Membership renewals is June 30.

Action: Email Jen Cleary immediately to avoid suspension of your membership if you have not already submitted renewal materials.

TCG Member Discounts to Arts Conferences

TCG members are entitled to registration discounts to the 2009 National Arts Marketing Project Conference, in Providence, RI, “CollaborAction: Arts Marketing, Sponsorship, and Fundraising Strategies to Succeed!”

TCG members are also entitled to $120 registration discounts to the 2009 Arts Reach National Arts Marketing & Development Conference, “Are You Ready for the Wave of Change? Breakthrough Strategies for Growing Audiences, Donors, and Boards in the Coming Decade.”

Action: Visit the National Arts Marketing Project website to view all of the conference offerings or to register online. Take advantage of your TCG discounted registration fee by entering the code CLBRACTN upon registering.

Visit the ArtsReach website to view all of the conference offerings and to register online. In addition to your member discount, when one person from your organization registers by July 31, another person gets to go for free to the Regular Conference and the Pre-Conference E-marketing Day.



House Subcommittee Approves $15 Million Increase to NEA

UPDATED This story was originally published in the June 2009 issue of the Bulletin.
The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a $15 million increase for the NEA, bringing NEA funding to $170 million for FY 2010. The total for the agency in FY 2009 was $155 million, and this increase reflects years of advocacy work since the NEA's budget was severely cut in 1995.
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), Chairman of the Subcommittee, championed the NEA funding as a priority issue. The increase represents the first step in the appropriations process. On June 23, the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a $6.3 million increase for the NEA – the amount requested by President Obama in his budget request to Congress. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take up this Bill on Thursday, June 25. If the Senate funding level is different than the House funding level, the appropriations level would have to be resolved in the coming months in Conference Committee.

Action: Stay tuned, and if you receive an Action Alert from the Performing Arts Alliance, please respond.

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President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Former Congressman Jim Leach as Chairman of the NEH

Jim Leach served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Iowa for 30 years. He founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus. He has taught at Princeton University and served as the interim director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Action: Visit the White House website to read the full announcement.

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White House Held Briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice and National Recovery

More than 60 artists and creative organizers convened at the White House for a briefing moderated by Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President, who serves as White House Liaison to the arts.
The purpose for the White House briefing was:
(1) To learn about key Obama Administration initiatives that might be advanced through the long-term engagement of artists working with communities;
(2) To connect the creative community with campaigns and other action opportunities involving important national issues;
(3) To share the exemplary work of our diverse field;
(4) To facilitate the inclusion of dynamic cultural strategies as an integral part of the administration’s agenda for economic recovery, community renewal and civic engagement.

Action: Visit the State Voices website to read the full report.

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White House Announces Summer of Service Initiative

President Obama has officially announced a new initiative designed to encourage Americans to create meaningful change in their communities by engaging in service. United We Serve is the product of a partnership between The Corporation for National and Community Service and the White House, which kicked off on June 22 and will run through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11.
United We Serve focuses on economic recovery and service in four areas: energy efficiency, education and literacy, healthcare access and community renewal. Arts organizations, local and state arts agencies, business committees for the arts, art education groups and others already engage volunteers using the arts to help solve such broad community problems. Now is the time for arts organizations nationwide to increase opportunities for volunteers to get involved in order to help stabilize the arts during this economic downturn.

Action: Visit the Corporation for National and Community Service website for all the tools needed to participate in this initiative.

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NEA Announces Highlights from 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts

According to new research released by the NEA, American audiences for the arts are getting older and their numbers are declining. Arts Participation 2008: Highlights from a National Survey features top findings from the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the nation’s largest and most representative periodic study of adult participation in arts events and activities, conducted by the NEA in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. Five times since 1982, the survey has asked U.S. adults 18 and older about their patterns of arts participation over a 12-month period.

Action: Visit the NEA website for the full report.



Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Announces New Guest Artist Initiative Program

This program encourages the hiring of professional stage directors and choreographers as guest artists at American colleges and universities. The selected school will receive funds of up to $5,000 to match the fee budgeted for the guest artist. A second grant of $1,000 will be awarded to the runner-up school. The foundation is also soliciting applications from professional stage directors and choreographers who wish to be considered for the project.

Action: The deadline is October 15. Visit the SDCF website for guidelines and application materials.

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Apply to be a Resident Director at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, NY

The Resident Director program provides a forum for emerging directors to be actively involved in the workings of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. It is ideal for directors interested in fostering new work, as the focus of the program is new play development and production. The program is a part-time commitment from October 1, 2009 – July 1, 2010.

Action: The deadline is August 15. To apply, send resume and letter of interest to EST Literary Manager Linsay Firman. Interviews will be scheduled from August 31 – September 4.

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National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts

The NALAC Fund for the Arts is a field-advised grant program designed to help Latinos develop their creative talents and make lasting contributions to our communities by providing financial resources to strengthen Latino arts organizations and to support Latino artists in the creation of their work.

Action: The deadline is July 13. Visit the NALAC website for application guidelines and materials.

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New Yale Playwriting Competition: The Yale Drama Series David C. Horn Prize

The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the David C. Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his or her manuscript by Yale University Press and a staged reading at Yale Repertory Theatre. The judge for 2009 and 2010 will be British playwright David Hare.

Action: The deadline is August 15. Visit the Yale University Press website for application guidelines and materials.

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James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation Richard L. Blinder Award

The Richard L. Blinder Award is a biennial award of up to $15,000 for the best proposal exploring the preservation of an existing structure, complex of buildings or genre of building type for use for a cultural purpose.

Action: The deadline is September 16. Visit the Fitch Foundation website for guidelines and application materials.

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USC Annenberg / Getty Arts Journalism Program

This is a three week, mid-career education Fellowship for six arts, culture and entertainment editors, producers and writers from online, print, radio and television from the US and abroad. Journalists who cover the visual and perfomrings arts, architecture, literature and pop culture - and who own these beats either as generalists of specialists - are welcome to apply. Staff, freelancers and self-employed web journalists are also encouraged.

Action: The deadline is July 14. Visit the USC Annenberg website for guidelines and application materials.



Nation's Arts Report Card Released

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the results of the 2008 National Assessment of Educational Progress in the Arts (NAEP) detailing how much eighth-grade students know and are able to do in the areas of music and visual arts. The arts assessment was administered in 1997 in music, theatre and visual arts; because of budget constraints and the small percentage of schools with dance and theatre programs, students were only assessed in music and visual arts in 2008.

The results of the assessment reveal barriers to student achievement in the arts, with significant racial/ethnic, gender and socioeconomic gaps. In response to the results, the Secretary of Education and senior officials at the NEA and the National Assessment Governing Board called for substantially increasing access to arts learning and significantly improving the quality of national data collection on the status of arts education in the nation's schools. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, "This Arts Report Card should challenge all of us to make K-12 arts programs more available to America's children and youth. Such programs not only engage students' creativity and academic commitment today, but they uniquely equip them for future success and fulfillment. We can and should do better for America's students."

Action: Visit the Nation’s Report Card website to the read the full NAEP report. Visit the Arts Education Partnership website to access the online toolkit, Maximizing the Nation's Arts Report Card.



Pew Charitable Trusts Awards Over $3 Million to Cultural Organizations in Philadelphia Region

As part of its Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program, Pew announced $3,051,000 in unrestricted general operating support to 18 Philadelphia-area arts and culture organizations that demonstrate excellence in operations, fiscal management and programming.
TCG member recipients of grants over $100,000:
Arden Theatre Company: $168,000
People’s Light and Theatre Company: $516,000
Wilma Theater: $300,000

Action: None.

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Intersection for the Arts Receives $110,000 Grant

Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, CA, received a grant of $110,000 over two years from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for general support of its Red Poppy Art House.

Action: None.

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company Receives $300,000 Grant

Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, IL received a challenge grant of $300,000 from the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust to encourage more individuals to support its productions.

Action: None.



Robert Sterling Clark Foundation New Initiative: International Cultural Engagement

This research brings together data on public and private support for cultural exchange as well as research on the challenges, successes, smart practices and trends of engagement by participating arts and cultural organizations, in addition to examining the history of public-private partnerships and new technologies being used in the promotion of cultural content for public diplomacy purposes.

Action: Visit the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation website to download the publication and supporting documents.

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Call for Participation for First International Street Theatre Festival in Athens, Greece

The festival will take place September 30 – October 4 with small and large spectacles presented by Greek and foreign groups in areas within the historical center of Athens and around the Sacred Rock of Acropolis. The festival is divided in two parts: the main part, which will host selected groups, and the open part, in which single artists or groups can participate.

Action: Visit the International Street Theatre Festival website for more information. Send proposals, accompanied by photos and DVD to 1st International Street Theatre Festival, P.O. Box 77225 GR 17510 – Paleo Faliro – Athens - Greece

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National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Presents Transnational Cultural Remittances Program

This program is designed to strengthen the exchange of art and culture between communities linked by people’s migration from one country to another. It seeks to identify exemplary cultural exchange projects from individuals, collectives and community-based organizations that support grassroots artistic and cultural practices and strengthen social networks across national boundaries in migrant communities. Projects demonstrating an ongoing connection between two or more of the following countries will be eligible for consideration for a grant in 2009 or 2010: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States.

Action: The deadline is July 24. Visit the NALAC website for guidelines and application materials.

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International University "Global Theatre Experience" Conference in Leibnitz, Austria, October 28 - 31

“Performing Arts Training Today” is open to performers from all over the world interested in the research of topical questions and processes in contemporary performing arts education and training.

Action: Visit the IUGTE website for submission guidelines and registration.



Amazon Offering free Online Payment Processing to Not-For-Profit Organizations

Amazon is offering free payment processing until September 30 for not-for-profit organizations that begin using Amazon Simple Pay Donations and Checkout by Amazon to accept online payments. In conjunction, NTEN (NonProfit Technology Network) is hosting a fee webinar on June 24 presented by Amazon Payments.

Action: Visit the Amazon Payments website to learn more, register for the webinar or register for an account.



First Folio Theatre

146 Juliet Court
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
tel (630) 986-8067
fax (630) 455-0071
Alison C. Vesely, Artistic Director
David Rice, Executive Director
Alan Becker, Board President

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The Neo-Futurists

5153 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60640-2831
tel (773) 878-4557
fax (773) 878-4514
Jay Torrence, Artistic Director
Lindsay Muscato, Managing Director
Steve Peterson, Board President

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Single Carrot Theatre

PO Box 2334
Baltimore, MD 21203-2334
tel (443) 844-9253
J Buck Jabaily, Artistic Director
Elliott Rauh, Managing Director
Rucg Espey, Board Chair


July 1: (noon EST) ArtSEARCH deadline for July 15 issue
July 9: Reservations deadline for September issue of American Theatre
July 15: (noon EST) ArtSEARCH deadline for August 1 issue
July 19: Ad materials deadline for September issue of American Theatre
July 31: (noon EST) ArtSEARCH deadline for August 15 issue
August 9: Reservations deadline for October issue of American Theatre
August 17: Ad materials deadline for October issue of American Theatre


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