Lifting Up Black Theatres, Indigenous Theatres, and Theatres of Color – and Their Invaluable Work

By Audrey Haberman, President and CEO, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation

We believe in the power of live theatre to spark dialogue, bring different viewpoints together on challenging subjects, and provide a lens to process the critical issues of the day.

That’s why we invest through our Social Impact Theatre Grant Program to support theatres in Western states that are igniting positive changes in their communities through the programming they bring to life on stage and to help reach new audiences.

We also believe that we must do more and to address systemic racism in the theatre field by investing in Black theatres, Indigenous theatres and Theatres of Color (BITOC*) – and their visionary, essential work. Acknowledging that BIPOC arts and culture organizations have been underfunded for decades and often have few national opportunities to apply for unrestricted funding, we are honored to support these theatres providing a deep level of service to their communities and offering critical solutions and ideas to the theatre field.

With a commitment to equitable change, we are joining with the Theatre Communications Group and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to support the inaugural round of the THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color program to provide unrestricted funds for Black theatres, Indigenous theatres and Theatres of Color – and specifically eight theatres in the western U.S.

This week, the Theatre Communications Group announced the 22 theatres who will receive RECOGNIZE grants under this program. To learn more about the THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color program and the recipients of their RECOGNIZE grantees, click here: https://circle.tcg.org/resources/grant-professional-development-programs/thrive.

We are thrilled to support the THRIVE! to lift up these vital theatres and their invaluable work. We are grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Theatre Communications Group for their leadership.  And we hope that other philanthropic organizations eager to support theatres of color and center efforts to address systemic racism in theatre will consider joining us in this work.

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