NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced the creation of the Dr. Kerry English International Arts Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting global connectivity. The fund, established by English’s widow, Olga Garay-English, will support two initiatives over the next decade: the Dr. Kerry English Global Connectivity Manager position at TCG, and the Dr. Kerry English International Cultural Exchange Grants.
Theatremaker and producer of international performance Juli Hendren will take on the global connectivity manager position at TCG; the cultural exchange grants to support creative projects among U.S. and international performing artists and theatres are anticipated to begin in the coming years.
“We are deeply honored to receive this support for our global activities in memory of Dr. Kerry English, one of the great friends of U.S. theatre,” said TCG executive director Teresa Eyring in a statement. “We’re excited to work with Olga Garay-English, herself one of our field’s most important champions, to envision how this fund can advance our shared commitments to global connectivity and cultural exchange. With a new administration and with progress being made against the pandemic, there will surely be new opportunities to develop pathways for experiencing global work and reimagine global citizenship in the arts.”
Garay-English established the fund to celebrate the life of her late husband, who died in May 2020. English was a beloved Los Angeles theatre and arts aficionado, pediatrician, and long-time director of the pediatric division at Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center. English often traveled nationally and internationally to see theatre.
“It was a privilege to have Kerry by my side as we traveled annually to the Under the Radar Festival in New York, Festival Internacional Santiago a Mil in Chile, and other far-flung festival destinations, ranging from Dublin to Bogota to Shanghai to see work,” said Garay-English in a statement. “He was always as enthusiastic about the last play of the day as he was about the first. It is also a privilege to collaborate with TCG to create a fund that will promote the essential role theatre can and should play in creating a more just and equitable world.”
Hendren, in her capacity as the Dr. Kerry English Global Connectivity Manager, will work on information gathering and community organizing for the Global Theatre Initiative and the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). Previously, Hendren has traveled with TCG delegations to the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile, the 2016 International Theatre Festival in Cuba, and the ITI 2017 World Congress in Segovia. She has also contributed to activities produced by TCG and its Global Theater Initiative with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics (the Lab) at Georgetown University.
“It is an absolute honor to accept the position of the Dr. Kerry English Global Connectivity Manager,” said Hendren in a statement. “TCG has been a champion of my work in international theatre for many years. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with TCG and the esteemed Olga Garay-English to further TCG’s mission and reach of global connectivity in theatre. The ability to create networking tools and platforms for honest conversation within the international arts community will allow a more mobilized movement towards inclusion, knowledge, equity, outreach, and support. I look forward to expanding possibilities for international artists, teachers, and producers to connect, train, and collaborate while building models of ethical practices in the work. Theatre serves as a vehicle to inform and share, creating a stronger experience of global citizenship and healthier communities around the world.”
TCG’s Global Initiatives include serving as the U.S. Center for the International Theatre Institute (ITI-U.S.), sharing leadership of ITI-U.S. with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics as part of the Global Theater Initiative. TCG’s executive director, Teresa Eyring, currently serves on the executive council of ITI worldwide and as ITI Vice President for the Americas. The Global Theater Initiative connects practitioners with resources, knowledge, and partnerships to strengthen their work, promotes cultural collaboration as essential for international peace and mutual understandings, and innovates new strategies to maximize the global theatre field’s opportunities and impact. TCG also publishes extensive coverage of international work in American Theatre, issues peer consultation letters for international visa petitions, and advocates for cultural exchange and artists’ rights worldwide. For decades, TCG has also supported cultural exchange through grantmaking, and by leading delegations of U.S. theatre practitioners to festivals worldwide.
The full press release issued by TCG can be read here. To further support this initiative and work of TCG, please contact Kevin Bitterman, director of Institutional Advancement & Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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