FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2023
CONTACTS: Corinna Schulenburg | [email protected] | 212-609-5941
Theatre Communications Group Announces THRIVE! Indigenous Theatre Grants
Four IndigenousIndigenous Theatres to Receive $10,000 in General Operating Support
New York, NY – Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre is proud to announce the recipients of the THRIVE! Indigenous Theatre Grants. The four Indigenous theatres that will receive $10,000 each are American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA), Natives of the Apocalypse, Red Eagle Soaring, and Spiderwoman Theater. The THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color program is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation and the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, and developed and administered by TCG with an Advisory Circle of BIPOC theatre leaders. In addition to the Advisory Circle, seven arts and culture leaders from Native/Indigenous communities worked with TCG as advisors and nominators for the Indigenous Theatre Grants. THRIVE! provides unrestricted funds for U.S.-based Black, Indigenous, and Theatres of Color (BITOC*) who have all too often been outside the grantmaking sector’s funding opportunities
“It’s not just that the philanthropic sector has under-resourced Indigenous theatres, but also that the generation of philanthropic wealth is inextricably linked to violent colonization of Native lands,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director and CEO, TCG. “Yet while these grants acknowledge that ongoing injustice, the vitality of Indigenous theatres defies any trauma narratives. These four theatres are part of a thriving ecology of Indigenous theatre and cultural practice, and we look forward to supporting that ecology through the THRIVE! program and beyond.”
“We’re excited to shine a light on these companies,” said Emilya Cachapero, director of grantmaking programs, TCG. “They’re invaluable resources for their chosen communities - a mirror where the community can see their truths, complexities and questions, and at the same time they are amplifying stories that are not often heard on stages across the U.S.”
The four recipients of the Indigenous Theatre Grants are:
American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA), established in 1987, is the ONLY multi-disciplinary arts organization in the New York City and surrounding northeast region devoted to emerging artists and open to the Native community at large. Amerinda aims to continue developing leadership in Native theater and ensure the sustainability of the field by providing valuable professional experiences to emerging Indigenous artists and administrators, and by expanding the canon of Native American plays.
Natives of the Apocalypse is an Indigenous production company creating opportunities for Native Americans to tell their stories. We specialize in "Indigenizing" traditional productions as well as creating original pieces to broaden the Native American perspective. It is important to show Native American resilience, strength and authority through productions that heighten the Indigenous experience.
Since 1991, Red Eagle Soaring has mentored hundreds of Native youth, staged over 180 productions, and supported youth access to the healing power of Native cultural traditions which promote social, physical, and intellectual engagement. In bringing together Native youth to learn about the technical aspects and process of theatre, they also build a community of people interested in learning about, sharing, promoting, and supporting Native arts and cultural life ways.Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre (RES) exists to empower American Indian and Alaska Native youth to express themselves with confidence and clarity through traditional and contemporary performing arts.
Spiderwoman Theater is the longest running, Native women's theater in the Americas and is firmly situated in the New York City Native and arts community. We highlight and address cultural, social and political issues in the Indigenous and women’s communities. Our programs include ensemble theater production, touring, workshops/training and creation residencies. We encourage a collective way of thinking, creating and being that supports a decolonizing worldview for our audiences, artists, administrators, and technicians. Community engagement in NYC, the US and internationally allows us to find a common ground and advances Indigenous performance in the global performing arts community.
In addition to the Indigenous Theatre Grants, the THRIVE! program includes:
RESPOND: 25 rapid response grants of $10,000 each, unrestricted. RESPOND grants aimed to address immediate, time-sensitive challenges that prevented theatres from their ongoing work with their community.
RECOGNIZE: 20 general operating grants of $50,000 each, unrestricted. RECOGNIZE grants were awarded to BITOC demonstrating a deep level of service to their chosen communities; a clear vision guiding their on-going and future work; and the highest potential for the THRIVE! program to positively impact their organization.
RECOGNIZE grantees also participated in REBUILD: A Learning Cohort working with BIPOC consultants to strengthen their effectiveness in specific areas that included: financial planning, crisis management and scenario planning, and program evaluation.
THRIVE! Week 2023, a 4-day virtual convening to uplift the leadership and wisdom of BITOC, held July 11-14, 2023.
Learn more about the program here: https://www.tcg.org/Web/Our-Work/Grant-and-Professional-Development-Programs/THRIVE/THRIVE-Overview.aspx
TCG is inspired by the writings of W.E.B DuBois and defines BITOC as organizations that have been founded by, for, about, with, and near BIPOC communities. THRIVE! recognizes that communities of color often disperse beyond one geographic area. Also, during this pandemic time, TCG recognizes the difficulty of being in physical proximity to community members. For these reasons, TCG defines “near” and “with” broadly to include digital and cultural proximity. In addition to these elements, BITOC are led by BIPOC.
*A note about terminology: BITOC and BIPOC are terms used here for solidarity purposes representing a multiplicity of racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. We acknowledge that the terms “BITOC” and “BIPOC” are imperfect, not universally embraced by many who identify as People of Color and/or People of the Global Majority, and that language is in a constant state of reimagination and redefinition. For reference, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color represent over 80% of the global population. It is possible that during the program period, the language may shift again.
The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities. DDF focuses its support to the performing arts on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. Visit www.dorisduke.org to learn more.
The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation works to advance equitable change by creating access to systems and solutions that expand economic opportunity, promote innovative approaches to education, improve access to supportive care for life-threatening illness, and lift up social impact theatre. We practice active philanthropy, support outstanding leaders with bold ideas, and explore innovative approaches and models that can be tested locally and, if successful, implemented nationally.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 Individual Members. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year. TCG offers networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the biennial TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG's partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 20 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. TCG believes its vision of “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre” can be achieved through individual and collective action, adaptive and responsive leadership, and equitable representation in all areas of practice. TCG is led by executive director and CEO Teresa Eyring. www.tcg.org.
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