The Collective Effort
For the 26th National Conference in Washington DC, TCG is highlighting the current recipients of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships and the Leadership U[niversity] One-on-One Program, the Rising Leaders of Color, and the four finalists for the Alan Schneider Director Award. These programs are unique to the field, and provide critical support and mentorship for the future leaders of our art form. In honor of our longstanding commitment to professional development across the field, we are excited to continue to host the Spotlight On Series throughout the spring leading up to the conference.
Teresa Eyring: If I had a dollar for every time someone told me their career trajectory was transformed through one of TCG's grant programs, I´d be able to...well, I'd be able to start a whole new TCG grant program! And believe me, given the number of qualified applicants and the calling from the field, we could do so in a heartbeat. The need for new ways of deepening practice and expanding professional networks is ever present, and it just takes a look at our grantees--past and present--to be convinced of the impact.
Each year at our national conference, TCG has the opportunity to feature individual practitioners who are recipients in a variety of TCG programs. We do this under the banner “Spotlight On”, because we hope to illuminate the dreams and accomplishments of the individuals who were selected. With our grants come extraordinarily competitive application processes, generous foundation and corporate partners, senior practitioners in the field who give their time as panelists mentors, and of course, more qualified applicants than we can possibly support.
This year in Washington, D.C., we will celebrate:
Leadership U[niversity] One-on-One, which provides support for rising leaders from all areas of theatre for professional development via mentorships at TCG Member Theatres.
Rising Leaders of Color, which provides theatre professionals who self-identify as leaders of color with professional development and networking opportunities at TCG’s National Conferences and beyond.
The Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships Program which provides substantial support for exceptionally talented actors to further their artistic and professional growth in collaboration with a host theatre.
Alan Schneider Director Award, which is designed to identify and assist exceptional directors whose talent has been demonstrated through work in specific regions, but who may not be well known nationally.
These are just of few of the programs TCG currently administers to support individual professional development. There are many more programs that have existed in the past including National Theatre Artist Residency Program, the TCG/NEA new play residencies, TCG/NEA Career Development Program for Directors and Designers.
While I was never lucky enough to be a TCG individual grantee, one of the more mind-expanding experiences I had earlier in my career and pre TCG was serving on a grant panel. It was one of the last National Theatre Artist Residency panels. It made me realize that it really does take collective effort to make our theatre community as strong as possible.
In the coming months, and leading up to the conference, I hope you enjoy reading the inspiring stories of our 2016 Spotlight On grantees.
Teresa Eyring joined Theatre Communications Group (TCG) as executive director in March 2007. Previously, she spent 20 years as an executive in theatres around the U.S. Positions included managing director of the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, managing director of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and director of development for the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, D.C. Eyring holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. She is a member of the boards of the Performing Arts Alliance and The Actors Fund. Under her leadership, TCG adopted a new strategic plan with a major focus on diversity and inclusion, as well as audience and community engagement. With this plan, TCG has articulated a new, unifying vision statement. In summary it is: A better world for theatre. A better world because of theatre.
TOP: Grantees at the 2015 TCG National Conference in Cleveland.
Leadership U[niversity] is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which 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. Additional information is available at www.mellon.org.
The Fox Foundation Resident Actor Program is funded by The William & Eva Fox Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation, that is committed to the artistic development of theatre actors as a strategy to strengthen live theatre. Through its prestigious Fox Fellowships, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.8 million in fellowships to 335 actors since 1994 to underwrite periods of intensive study, research and training by actors recognized as having a serious commitment to the theatre. For more information, please visit www.thefoxfoundation.org.