TCG Announces New Round of Global Connections Program

With renewed support of $375,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

PRESS CONTACTS: Gus Schulenburg, 212-609-5941 | Salma S. Zohdi, 212-609-5955


New York, NY – Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce renewed and increased support of $375,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for Round 6 of Global Connections. This program encourages reciprocity and cultural exchange through two programs: ON the ROAD grants to foster new relationships with international colleagues; and IN the LAB project development grants to further pre-existing international collaborations. Over its first five rounds, the Global Connections program has awarded $671,880 through 94 grants to artists and companies in 39 U.S. states to collaborate with their colleagues in 53 different countries.


“As we enter our sixth round of the Global Connections program, we’re witnessing the ongoing impact from our first five, from Kenyan flower growers continuing to create theatre across ethnic lines to ongoing collaborations across the U.S./Mexico border,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG. “Thanks to this renewed support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, many more border-crossing connections will be made and deepened, promoting global citizenship during a time when it is greatly needed.”


In Round 6, ON the ROAD grants of up to $5,000 will foster new relationships for a broad range of U.S.-based theatres and individual theatre professionals to collaborate with their international colleagues. IN the LAB grants of $10,000 each will nurture pre-existing international collaborations by supporting residencies that either advance the research and development of a new collaborative project or explore elements leading up to a full production.


“More than anything, this is a program that brings working artists from different cultures and perspectives together and broadens the voice those artists have in their respective countries,” said Tom Lee, Global Connections: IN the LAB recipient. “In a time where we hear rhetoric about what divides us culturally and nationally, TCG and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are supporting artists who believe in a global approach to making work and to looking beyond our own assumptions.”


The first application cycle launches in May 2017 and the deadline for applications is September 13, 2017. The guidelines and applications will be published on the TCG website in the next month:


“Geographically unrestricted support for travel and project development has become increasingly rare,” said Kevin Bitterman, director of institutional advancement and partnerships, TCG. “In recent surveys, TCG has learned that the advantages of investing in this work are deep and wide-ranging, from providing audiences with new perspectives to promoting cultural and aesthetic diversity.”


“My work is built on radical borrowing. If we create art that draws on many different cultural, historical, aesthetic languages, the work will speak to many different people,” said Kaneza Schaal, former Global Connections: ON the ROAD recipient. “Through the support of TCG’s Global Connections program and my time in Kigali, I affirmed that my creative practice lives beyond national boundaries and is grounded in global histories of experimental performance.”


Building upon TCG's core value of Global Citizenship, Round 6 of Global Connections will align with other TCG international activities to maximize impact. Those activities include the Global Theater Initiative (GTI), a partnership that combines the unique reach of TCG’s international programming with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics (the Lab) at Georgetown University’s experience in humanizing global politics through the power of performance. GTI strengthens, nurtures, and promotes global citizenship and international collaboration in the U.S. professional and educational theatre field through programs like World Theatre Day, international-themed convenings, and delegations of U.S. theatre people to international festivals. Learn more about TCG and GTI’s international activities here.


Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.


For over 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for U.S. theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit theatre. TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. TCG is North America’s largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 14 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.


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