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Victory Gardens Theater fellowship empowering future leaders of color
From a press release
2017-10-26

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Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater announces its new Next Generation Fellowship program, made possible by a generous grant from The Field Foundation of Illinois. This new program will provide comprehensive mentorship, requisite training, and experience for future leaders of color, preparing them to helm arts institutions or departments on the national and local level.

The Victory Gardens Theater's Next Generation Fellowship is a professional development program for early career persons of color that will prepare and groom these underrepresented theatre professionals for leadership positions in the American Theatre. Through hands-on experience, mentorship, and career-guidance, Fellows will be given tools to become the next generation of arts leaders. Thanks to the generous grant from The Field Foundation, applicants selected for this unique, paid Fellowship will be fully integrated into the Victory Gardens Theater staff and compensated for their time.

"Victory Gardens' Next Generation Fellowship furthers our institutional commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity. It is imperative that we as a theater community invest in future theater leaders that represent our audiences, artists, and stories being told on our stages," comments Chay Yew. "Through this new program, we're thrilled to mentor our field's future leaders of color. We're extremely grateful to The Field Foundation for its generous support to make this a reality."

"The Field Foundation is interested in compelling art, levers of justice, and furthering Chicagoans to create the city of tomorrow," said Angelique Power, President of The Field Foundation of Illinois. "Because of this we are thrilled to support Victory Gardens Theater's exploration of how this theater can be a critical catalyst in propelling brilliant leaders of color forward in their careers. Keep an eye on these Fellows!"

Beginning in February 2018, Victory Gardens will offer two fellowships in artistic programming and arts administration. Fellows will work closely with and shadow Victory Gardens Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels. Fellowships are as follows:

The Samuel G. Roberson Artistic Fellow will be fully integrated into the artistic staff; read and analyze plays for season planning and the IGNITION New Play Festival; assist in line producing main stage shows and any new play development programming; participate in Public Programs, Access Project and Education Department.

The Marcelle McVay Management Fellow will be part of the management team; learn and assist in board development, fundraising, development and grant writing, contracts and negotiations, rentals, budgets, company management and human resources.

Victory Gardens Theater will be flexible and tailor Fellowships to best suit the individual career needs, expertise and desires each incoming Fellow. As the program grows, the company hopes to include an additional fellowship in production, technical, and design.

Candidates are required to have held one prior internship in their field and should have some college or graduate school training or work experience. Graduate School Candidates needing course credit encouraged to apply. Additionally, Fellows will be paid an hourly salary to compensate for their time working for Victory Gardens Theater. Fellows will be evaluated by the supervisor of their department, have monthly check-ins to discuss goals, progress, up-coming projects, and constructive ways to further utilize the time of each fellow individually. All will be held to the same standard as part and full-time staff.

The 2018 Next Generation Fellowship will run from February 1, 2018 — October 31, 2018. The application deadline is November 30, 2017 and candidates will be asked to interview on a rolling basis. For more information or to apply please visit victorygardens.org/about/work-with-us/nextgeneration .

About The Field Foundation

Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for over 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grant-making toward the goal of community empowerment through funding nonprofits working in Justice, Art and Leadership Investment.

We seek to invest in organizations working to address systemic issues in divested communities. At the center of the Field Foundation's work is the idea of community empowerment. We want to clarify that we do not claim to "empower" the "powerless," rather we see many of Chicago's community-based organizations as immense sources of power that need support. We envision these "local power grids" as organizations, networks, alliances and seek to learn more about them for potential investment of our limited dollars. Community empowerment is also our personal north star. A way of asking the sector to hold us accountable for our work, and to ensure that our dollars are spent on powering specific communities.

About Victory Gardens Theater

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Zacek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Za�ek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit www.victorygardens.org . Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at instagram.com/victorygardenstheater/ .

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from The Wallace Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The REAM Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Alphawood Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Inc., The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, The Field Foundation of Illinois, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, JCCC Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Saints, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Whole Foods Market, and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.


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