FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2020 | PRESS CONTACTS: Corinna Schulenburg | firstname.lastname@example.org | 212-609-5941
Theatre Communications Group Announces New Cohort of
Rising Leaders of Color Program
Eight New York City-based leaders
New York, NY – Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce the participants in the fifth round of its Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program, which seeks to develop and highlight exceptionally talented early-career BIPOC leaders (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) across the U.S. who are committed to upholding equitable practices in the theatre field. The program is supported by the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Hearst Foundations, and Walt Disney Imagineering.
The fifth round of RLC recipients are based in New York City. The program builds on learnings from past programs in Washington, DC (2016), Portland, OR (2017), St. Louis, MO (2018), and Miami, FL (2019), and has also included a theatre criticism/journalism track. This cohort will participate in a year-long curriculum designed to provide professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities. RLC is part of TCG’s commitment to changing the face of theatre by nurturing and supporting an intergenerational network of leaders who are committed to transforming the field into a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse community.
“Just as the uprising in our streets against police brutality and White supremacy is making powerful change, so too are BIPOC theatremakers leading our field toward a more just and thriving future,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “We look forward to working with this next cohort to continue building an ever-growing intergenerational network of BIPOC leaders.”
The members of the new cohort are:
Tahnia Belle (New York, NY) is a Haitian-American arts administrator, cultural producer and actor. For 20 years Tahnia has managed social impact and leadership development projects for nonprofit institutions. Her career spans the fields of international programs, higher education scholarship management, small business consulting and the arts. Tahnia is Director of Operations & Special Projects for Urban Bush Women (UBW) and co-founder of SunnEvents & Consulting, a socially conscious events company. Tahnia is passionate about contributing to a vision of the field that includes sustainable organizations of color producing values-based work supported by administrators who represent them and in partnership build values-aligned infrastructure, processes and systems. She is an alum of the UBW Summer Leadership Institute, member of Artists Co-Creating Real Equity (ACRE) and Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA). BA in Geography & Africana Studies, Hunter College; MPA in Nonprofit Management, University of Colorado/Denver.
Kareem Fahmy (New York, NY) is a Canadian-born director, playwright, and cultural consultant of Egyptian descent. Fellowships/Residencies: Sundance Theatre Lab, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Phil Killian Directing Fellow), Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center/National New Play Network (National Directors Fellow), Second Stage (Van Lier Directing Fellow), Soho Rep (Writer/Director Lab), Lincoln Center (Directors Lab), New York Theater Workshop (Emerging Artist Fellow & Usual Suspect). Kareem is the co-founder of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at The Lark and of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. MFA in Directing: Columbia University. www.KareemFahmy.com
Lanxing Fu (Brooklyn, NY/Canarsee land, Lenapehoking) is a Chinese-American theater artist and co-director of Superhero Clubhouse, an interdisciplinary community engaged in theater-making to shift culture towards climate and environmental justice. With SHC: playwright and co-creator of Mammelephant (The New Ohio / HERE Arts Center), program director of The Living Stage NYC (University Settlement / Meltzer Senior Center), and co-creator of PLUTO (no longer a play), (The Brick) and JUPITER (a play about power), (La MaMa). She is lead teaching artist with Big Green Theater (Bushwick Starr/SHC). Workshop facilitator and speaker on eco-theater: The New School, Asian American Arts Alliance, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, CESTEMER, and more. BA Theatre Arts & BA Humanities, Science, Environment from Virginia Tech. www.superheroclubhouse.org
Miranda Haymon (Brooklyn, NY) is a Princess Grace Award/Honoraria-winning director, writer and deviser of performance. Their recent projects include Really, Really Gorgeous (The Tank), Everybody (Sarah Lawrence College), In the Penal Colony (Next Door @ NYTW, The Tank) and Mondo Tragic (National Black Theater). Their theatre is radically inclusive, fundamentally multi-voiced, oriented towards sparking dialogue and in direct conversation with the current American state of affairs. Miranda is a graduate of Wesleyan University where they double majored in German Studies and Theater and were awarded the Rachel Henderson Theater Prize in Directing. Upcoming: Exception to the Rule (Roundabout Underground). www.mirandahaymon.com
Jasmine Johnson (Brooklyn, NY) is an administrator, dramaturg, and producer who is passionate about building platforms to uplift the voices of traditionally underrepresented artists. She currently serves as Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Tony-Award winning Williamstown Theatre Festival where she has played an integral role in the new play development initiatives through leading the Summer Literary Department and overseeing administration of the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award.This summer, she will step into the newly created role of Artistic Production Associate at Manhattan Theatre Club. Jasmine is a proud native of Atlanta, GA and holds a BFA in Theatre from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Peter Kim (Brooklyn, NY) is an actor, producer, director and teacher. He has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and regionally. Select Film & TV credits: The 40-Year-Old Version (upcoming on Netflix/Sundance Film Festival 2020 Award Winner), Saturday Church (Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award), Sex and the City, “Chicago Med”, “Ugly Betty”. As Associate Producer of NAATCO, the company has received OBIE awards and Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominations. He is a Steering Committee Member of AAPAC and a Lecturer in Theater at Princeton University. He holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama & BFA from NYU. @peterkimpeterkim
A'shanti Tyree (New York, NY) is an artist and arts administrator with a keen interest in development. As the Individual Giving Manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, she helps strengthen existing donor relationships while discovering other theatre-lovers to support the work of established and emerging playwrights. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in producing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. When she’s not fundraising, she can be found reading, writing and sharing her soulful vocals at venues all over NYC.
Victor Vazquez (New York, NY), (he/him/his), is the founder of X Casting NYC. Through a shared purpose towards collective liberation and anti-racism in all its processes, X Casting reimagines the art of casting. He served as resident Casting Director and Line Producer at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. for three seasons. Previous employment includes: Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, Cornerstone Theatre Company. Vazquez holds a master’s degree (with distinction) from the University of Oxford in dramatic writing, and is a member of the Casting Society of America. Originally from Compton, California, he is the proud son of Mexican immigrants and Spanish is his first language. He lives and works in New York City. www.xcastingnyc.com
This RLC cohort has taken part in an orientation meeting and attended professional development workshops and events as part of TCG’s National Convening June 2 - 5, 2020,. The program continues with a year-long professional development curriculum designed to strengthen their leadership skills. Participants will explore concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion, and engage in dialogues about their personal values, the state of the field, and navigating through the theatre field as a leader of color. RLC is a part of TCG’s multi-year, six-point Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative to transform the theatre field into a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse community. Learn more about the Rising Leaders of Color program here, and the EDI Initiative here.
"The Howard Gilman Foundation is thrilled to continue our support of this important program," said Laura Aden Packer, the Foundation's executive director. "This new cohort comprises an extraordinary group of talented professionals. Combined with an equally talented alumni network, these rising leaders of color are paving the path toward the future of American theatre."
"We are proud to introduce the participants in the fifth round of the Rising Leaders of Color program.” said Emilya Cachapero, director of artistic & international programs. “More than ever, as this country wrestles with its legacy of racism and inaction, it is essential to uplift and support BIPOC leaders who have already exhibited their commitment to creating a more just society and who will undoubtedly be at the forefront of shaping our theatre field’s future.”
RLC builds on the learnings and momentum of the Young Leaders of Color Program (YLC) and the SPARK Leadership Programs. From 2008-2013, YLC brought 79 leaders of color to TCG National Conferences. RLC expands and re-envisions that community as part of an ongoing national network of leaders of color. From 2014-15, the SPARK Leadership Program assembled a cohort of ten leaders of color for a focused, year-long professional development curriculum. Through RLC and SPARK, TCG will support a variety of professional development and networking programs to meet the diverse needs of theatre leaders of color at various stages of their career.
To learn more about the program, please visit: https://www.tcg.org/Grants/GrantsAtAGlance/RisingLeadersofColor.
Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. The Howard Gilman Foundation honors his legacy by supporting the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations in New York City. www.howardgilmanfoundation.org
The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture and Social Service. The goal of the Foundations is to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. The charitable goals of the Foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst.
Walt Disney Imagineering is the creative engine that designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, and cruise ships worldwide, and oversees the creative aspects of Disney games, merchandise, product development, and publishing businesses. https://sites.disney.com/waltdisneyimagineering/
Theatre Communications Group (TCG) exists to strengthen, nurture, and promote professional theatre in the U.S. and globally. 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 nearly 10,000 Individual Members. Through its Core Values of Activism, Artistry, Diversity, and Global Citizenship, TCG advances a better world for theatre and a better world because of theatre. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships, approximately $2 million per year, 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 18 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. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its Member Theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre. www.tcg.org.
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