WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT.: The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation and Northern Stage have announced the second cohort of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, a $3 million grant to support the leadership and artistry of women+ (a term inclusive of trans women and all who identify as women) in the American theatre. Each BOLD Circle member will receive annual funding of $250,000 for a two-year cycle. The grant supports the hiring of an associate artistic director or mentee of similar title, as well as the development of new plays and musicals by women+ creators. Applications are due by December 15, 2020.
The BOLD Circle was launched in 2018 with five women artistic directors and their theatres chosen from 48 applicants by a panel of top theatre leaders. Lisa McNulty of WP Theater in New York City, Eileen J. Morris of the Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Susan Booth of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Sarah Rasmussen of the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, and founder Carol Dunne of Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vt., were each awarded a grant of $750,000 over a three-year period, which concludes May 31, 2021. This second cohort will be funded beginning June 1, 2021.
“The network we have built among women theatre leaders is unprecedented and it is working, opening the doors for literally hundreds of women artists,” said Dunne, who directs the grant program, in a statement. “We are profoundly grateful to the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation for their generosity in continuing the BOLD Circle and adding a sixth theatre. This opportunity will broaden our reach as we change the landscape for women+ theatre artists and leaders.”
Since the initiative’s founding, recipients have moved into major arts leadership positions, more than 20 new works by women have been developed and produced, and all participating theatres achieved gender parity with creative teams. The second round of funding will include a sixth theatre.
Four BOLD associates, whose jobs funded were entirely by the BOLD grant, have moved into major theatre leadership roles: Tamilla Woodard (formerly BOLD associate artistic director at WP Theater) to co-artistic director of New York’s Working Theater; Rachel Karpf (formerly the BOLD associate producer at WP Theater) to director of programming live at the New York Times; Donya Washington (formerly BOLD producing associate at the Alliance Theatre) to festival producer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Christina Baldwin, who was promoted to interim artistic director of the Jungle Theater after BOLD Circle member Sarah Rasmussen was appointed artistic director at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center.
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