Theater groups to receive $15.1 million

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Nonprofit Finance Fund will hand out $15.1 million to 10 performing arts nonprofits to fund the exploration of new business practices and models.

Gotham’s Wooster Group, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater and Los Angeles’ Center Theater Group are among the orgs to receive coin during the five-year program, called “Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence.”

Each troupe will get up to $1 million, not including an initial planning fund of $75,000 each and the potential for additional money as deemed necessary.

Grant aims to help nonprofits experiment with new ways to adjust to contempo business challenges, including diminishing government funding and the constant evolution of technology.

Individual companies plan to use the money for a wide range of troupe-specific projects, including crafting new models of online audience engagement, implementing organizational changes or establishing creative archives and legacies.

The Duke foundation provides the funds, with NFF overseeing the administration of the grant and offering technical assistance and advisory services.

NFF prexy Clara Miller said she hoped any lessons learned by the participating orgs could subsequently be imparted to other nonprofits. “This is uncharted territory. We’ll be learning together,” she said.

Grant recipients also include the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Cunningham Dance Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Misnomer Dance Theater, National Black Arts Fest, Ping Chong & Company and Siti Company.

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