Funds will support new theater leaders

Theater Communications Group has snagged a hefty $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a grant program that supports legit pros in the nonprofit sector.

Called “Leadership U(niversity),” the program aims to support early and mid-career theater leaders with coin and professional development.

The most sizable chunk of change will go to the “One-on-One” initiative for early-career types. TCG will tap six up-and-comers to receive $75,000 as well as mentorships at one of TCG’s member theaters. A $5,000 check will go to the mentor, and there’s $14,500 available to help pay for student loans, health care or other expenses.

Goal of “One-on-One” is to help make employment in nonprofit theater — where entry-level jobs are competitive and salaries often low — more of a viable option for promising candidates.

The “Continuing Ed” seg of the grant program will award as much $6,000 each to eight mid-career nonprofit types in order to fund learning opportunities outside of their organizations that would help them address issues at their home theaters.

TCG, the U.S. network of nonprofit theaters, has nearly 700 member orgs. The Mellon Foundation funds a number of legit endeavors, including the Public Theater’s Lab program for new work.

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