In March of 2016, TCG launched the Veterans and Theatre Institute (VTI), a pilot program for veterans and active military personnel to experience, study, and create theatre. By developing unique curricula for four communities through engagement with military and community partners, VTI will build sustainable relationships among veterans and the theatre community. Playwright and veteran Maurice Decaul will lead VTI as TCG’s first official artist-in-residence, constructing curriculum and programming over a three-year development period. VTI is supported by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts program.
VTI builds on the partnerships and learnings developed over the past five years by TCG’s Blue Star Theatres (BST) program, a partnership with Blue Star Families. Through events, grantmaking, and knowledge-sharing activities, BST recognizes the profound contributions of service families and seeks to build stronger connections among theatres, military families, and their communities. VTI will support and extend this work through a three-phase process that seeks to remove the barriers between veterans and theatre:
Community Assessment and Curriculum Development: This phase will answer critical questions like: How does a specific military community define itself in relation to theatres in its geographic vicinity? What are the best pathways to increase participation from this community in theatre? How are theatres already reaching this community, and how can our program complement this work? Based on the answers to these questions, VTI will develop partnerships and curricula that meet the specific needs of each community.
Program Pilot Launch and Rollout: The program will then receive a robust pilot process over the following year, deepening relationships with military, educational, community, and theatre partnerships.
Evaluation and Dissemination: In the third year, TCG will coordinate an evaluation process with all partners to assess the overall success of the VTI and identify any areas for improvement. From this, learnings from the program along with the curriculum will be made available to the theatre field at large.
For more information about VTI, please email Maurice Decaul.