The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) recently announced the inaugural round of recipients for the Leadership U[niversity] program, in which six early-career theatre leaders will receive One-on-One grants for professional development via mentorships at TCG Member Theatres. Eight mid-career and veteran theatre professionals at TCG Member Theatres will also receive Continuing Ed grants for learning opportunities to advance their leadership skills, in awards from a program designed to strengthen the field "by developing the individuals who are the core and the future of theatre."
“Our long-standing partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation allows us to create the leadership development opportunities for theatre practitioners that are essential to the growth of our field,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “This inaugural round matches talented early-career leaders with established leaders for hands-on mentorships, and empowers mid-career and veteran practitioners to step outside of their routines to deepen and expand their leadership skills.”
Leadership U[niversity] awards grants in two initiatives: via One-on-One grants for early-career leaders, and with Continuing Ed grants for mid-career and veteran professionals.
One-on-One grants of $75,000 have been awarded to six exceptionally talented early-career leaders for professional development via mentorships at TCG Member Theatres, with an additional $5,000 honorarium for each of their mentors. Up to an additional $14,500 in supplemental funds may also be used for student loan repayment, professional development or life needs such as health care, child or elder care, or other medical expenses.
Continuing Ed grants of up to $6,000 have also been awarded to eight mid-career to veteran professionals at TCG Member Theatres for learning opportunities to advance their leadership skills. Grants were awarded to the applicants’ home theatres on behalf of the theatre practitioners.
One-on-One Grant Recipients
Diana Buirski will be mentored by Denver Center Theatre Company’s (Denver, CO) managing director, Charles Varin. Buirski will hone her skills in fundraising, budgeting and season planning, and will focus on the implementation of audience development strategies and new programming to increase community engagement.
Amanda Delheimer Dimond will be mentored by Lookingglass Theatre Company’s (Chicago, IL) executive director, Rachel Kraft. Dimond’s mentorship will encompass the areas of executive and artistic direction, exploring the ethos and ecology of an ensemble-based theatre that creates new work.
Seema Sueko will be mentored by Arena Stage’s (Washington, DC) artistic director Molly Smith. The mentorship will focus on artistic direction and will help Sueko develop the leadership, artistic and fundraising skills needed for artistic direction at the LORT level.
Matt O’Hare will be mentored by The Builders Association’s (New York, NY) artistic director Marianne Weems and sound designer Daniel Dobson. O’Hare’s mentorship will focus on interactive sound and video design for theatre via observation and participation in the developmental processes of the company.
Quentin Talley will be mentored by Penumbra Theatre’s (St. Paul, MN) founder and artistic director Lou Bellamy. The mentorship will cover programming, education and directing. The experience will provide Talley the tools to become a more efficient and impactful artistic leader of his own company, On Q Performing Arts.
Maureen Towey will be mentored by Berkeley Repertory Theater’s (Berkeley, CA) artistic director Tony Taccone. Towey’s mentorship will focus on interactive technologies and community engagement while working alongside Taccone to learn the craft and business of running a large theatre organization.