SARASOTA, FLA.: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) has announced the recipients of the WBTT scholarship. Six students will receive $2,000 scholarships for studies in a college or conservatory program in the performing arts or arts management for the 2020-21 school year.
This year’s recipients are Todd Bellamy II, Alan P. Kurland Artist Development Scholarship; Charlotte Corporan, Linda & Bill Berliner Artist Development Scholarship; Ariana Fitzgerald, Marie McKee & Robert Cole Artist Development Scholarship; Jatavian Peterson, Jack & Priscilla Schlegel Artist Development Scholarship; Maicy Powell, Marian Moss Artist Development Scholarship; and Aleah Williams, Kitty & John Cranor Artist Development Scholarship.
“While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theatre, my dream—my true calling and purpose for founding this organization—has always been to help young aspiring artists who may otherwise be overlooked to develop their talents and have the opportunity to achieve success,” said WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to contribute financially to the arts education of these deserving students and look forward to seeing just how much they will achieve in the coming years.”
Scholarship funds, provided by WBTT donors, are dispersed directly to the educational institution the awardees attend or will be attending. To be considered, students must have performed in at least two WBTT productions, worked at the theatre as an intern, or have participated in the company’s WBTT Stage of Discovery summer musical theatre intensive program.
Bellamy, who graduated from the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program, participated in Stage of Discovery for four years. Bellamy performed in two WBTT mainstage productions, Black Nativity and Raisin, as well as shows at other venues. He is entering his second year as a theatre major at Florida A&M University.
Corporan, also a Booker VPA graduate, is entering her second year at Rollins College as a music major and dance minor. She participated in Stage of Discovery and returned this summer as a dance instructor assistant.
Fitzgerald, a recent graduate of Manatee School for the Arts, attended Stage of Discovery for several years. Fitzgerald will attend Jacksonville University to major in musical theatre.
Peterson, a Booker VPA graduate, participated in Stage of Discovery for three years and returned this year as a dance instructor. He is entering his second year at Pace University as a musical theatre major.
Powell, a graduate of the Booker VPA program, interned with WBTT for two years, attended Stage of Discovery for two years, performed in WBTT’s production of Black Nativity, and created and performed her Young Artist Program production of The Kid Is Alright. She is entering her junior year at Howard University, where she is majoring in business management with a minor in jazz (vocal).
Williams, who just graduated from the Booker VPA program, interned with WBTT for two years and also participated in Stage of Discovery. Williams will attend Rider University with plans to major in criminal justice and minor in music.
Founded in 1999, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe produces theatre that promotes and celebrates the African American experience.