jakub | April 24, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Theatre Communications Group Announces THRIVE! Grants


NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced the latest recipients of the THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color program. The grants of $10,000 each will provide unrestricted funds for 30 U.S.-based Black, Indigenous, and Theatres of Color (BITOC*). This round of THRIVE! is supported by Theater League of Kansas City, a not-for-profit civic performing arts organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the communities it serves with the thrill of live theatre. The THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color program is developed and administered by TCG with an Advisory Circle of BIPOC theatre leaders. THRIVE! supports BITOC who have all too often been outside the grantmaking sector’s funding opportunities.

“It’s been deeply motivating to hear from THRIVE! participants about the impact of this program,” Karena Fiorenza, TCG’s interim chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We must keep pushing back against the racist scarcity narratives that BITOC have faced for too long. It’s time for funders and individual donors to use their economic power of unrestricted financial support, so Black, Indigenous, and Theatres of Color (BITOC) can continue to flourish and further invest in the transformative work with their communities.”

“We’re excited to partner with the Theater League for this new round of the THRIVE! program,” said LaTeshia Ellerson, chief growth officer, TCG. “Rooted in Kansas City yet reaching professional theatres and their communities across the country, the Theater League is an ideal partner to support the vital work of BITOC.”

“We are thrilled to partner with TCG on this new initiative,” explained Theater League of Kansas City founder and president Mark Edelman. “Their team provided much-needed focus and clarity to our grant-making decisions. We’re thrilled to be working with them, as well as these thirty important theater companies, who we hope to help thrive with our contributions.”

The 30 THRIVE! grant recipients supported by the Theatre League of Kansas City are: San Francisco’s African-American Shakespeare Company, Golden Thread Productions, and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company; Bishop Arts Theatre Center and Cara Mía Theatre Co in Dallas; Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater, Congo Square Theatre, Silk Road Cultural Center, and Teatro Vista Productions; East West Players and Native Voices in Los Angeles; GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C.; Karamu House, Inc in Cleveland, Ohio; Ma-Yi Theater Company, Ping Chong & Company,, and Repertorio Español in New York City; Miracle Theatre Group in Portland, Ore.; Pangea World Theater and Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis; Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in the Bronx, N.Y.; St Louis Black Repertory Co in University City, Mo.; Su Teatro in Denver; Teatro Visión in San Jose, Calif.; Houston’s Ensemble Theatre Houston; the Front Porch Arts Collective in Cambridge, Mass.; The North Carolina Black Repertory Company in Winston Salem, N.C.; The Theater Offensive in Boston; Theater Mu in Saint Paul, Minn.; True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta; and viBe Theater Experience in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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, since the start of the 2020 pandemic, 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.

Theater League of Kansas City is a not-for-profit civic performing arts organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the communities it serves with the thrill of live! theater. Founded by Mark Edelman in Kansas City in 1977, the organization has presented the Best of Broadway in theaters across the country to well over a million patrons. Today, the League supports a broad range of professional theater through grants, student ticket subsidies and new works development in its hometown of Kansas City and performing arts organizations around the country.

Learn more about the THRIVE! program here.

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