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Mellon Foundation to Provide $5 Million to Aid Black Theaters

"The Billie Holiday Theater in Brooklyn will spearhead The Black Seed, a strategic plan that will offer grants to up to 50 theaters across the country. The plan will be administered by that theater in collaboration with three other Black-led artistic institutions:the Craft Institutein Massachusetts,Plowshares Theater Companyin Detroit, and WACO Theater Centerin Los Angeles. The group will award up to 50 one- to three-year grants to Black theaters in the coming months, in amounts ranging from $30,000 to $300,000.


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Strengthening the country’s Black theaters has been a priority as institutions consider how the art form must change after the killings of Black men and women by police officers, and in the wake of demands to diversify the American theater ecosystem from coalitions of theater artists like “We See You, White American Theater.”


Sarah Bellamy, the artistic director of Penumbra Theater in St. Paul, Minn., told The New York Times in June that Black theater 'is alive and well; it’s just not funded. I invite these Black artists who have been wounded by their efforts with the Great White Way to come back home.'


The Black Seed group hopes to raise $10 million for the three-year initiative, a spokeswoman said. A request for proposals from Black theater institutions will be announced in October, and the group hopes to announce grantees in December."


Read the full article on New York Times here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/01/arts/black-theaters-funding-black-seed.html


Read more about The Black Seed here:

http://thebillieholiday.org/about/the-black-seed/




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