ADV – Leaderboard

Clockwise from top left: India Nicole Burton, Nora Carroll, Tiffany Fulson, Sierra Rosetta, Willow James, and Jamal Howard.

TCG Names 2024 Rising Leaders of Color

This year’s 6-person cohort is based in Chicago.

NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre and the publisher of American Theatre, has named the participants for the 2024 Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program. The cohort of six talented early-career leaders, all based in Chicago, are advancing their careers in U.S. nonprofit theatre and related sectors.

The 2024 cohort includes India Nicole Burton, Nora Carroll, Tiffany Fulson, Jamal Howard, Willow James, and Sierra Rosetta.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this new cohort of Chicago-based theatre leaders to the Rising Leaders of Color Program,” LaTeshia Ellerson, TCG’s interim chief growth officer, said in a statement. “We’re grateful to work in partnership with our funders to support the professional growth of these leaders locally and to connect them nationally to an intergenerational network of peers.”

RLC builds on the learnings and momentum of the Young Leaders of Color Program (YLC) and the SPARK Leadership Programs. RLC expands and re-envisions the community of leaders of color as part of a growing national network. The cohort will participate in professional development workshops and events in Chicago during TCG’s National Conference this summer. Additionally, cohort members will be offered individual mentorship, webinars, and full cohort meetings through June 2025.

India Nicole Burton.

India Nicole Burton is a director, playwright, and producer who holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She previously participated in the National New Play Network’s Producer in Residence program at the Cleveland Public Theatre for two years. Through her work, Burton strives to empower African American communities by providing platforms to control and shape their own stories.

Nora Carroll.

Nora Carroll is a theatre artist and educator who was previously an artist in residence at Wisconsin’s Carthage College. She is currently the director of lifelong learning and education at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Carroll is invested in curating spaces that celebrate intersectionality, culture, and empathy through theatre.

Tiffany Fulson.

Tiffany Fulson is an actor, director, producer, and community curator who has served as the first artistic producer of innovative partnerships at TimeLine Theatre Company since 2021. She is also the director of the August Wilson New Voices Outreach Program in collaboration with the Goodman Theatre and the League of Chicago Theatres. Fulson is devoted to reimagining the performing arts through innovation, community healing, and wellness.

Jamal Howard.

Jamal Howard is a director, choreographer, producer, and arts administrator. He is the co-founder and co-artistic director of New American Folk Theatre and is the 2023-24 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow at the Goodman. He previously served as the associate artistic director of Emerald City Theatre. Howard works to create theatre with significant empathetic impact on audiences while caring for the artists and collaborators involved in the process.

Willow James.

Willow James is a freelance artist, educator, and sound designer whose work centers around exploring Black identity, new works, and activism. He is currently the civic engagement director at Definition Theatre, where he is also an ensemble member. He is the resident sound designer at Artemisia Theatre and a teaching artist at the Court Theatre.

Sierra Rosetta.

Sierra Rosetta is an Indigenous theatre artist and scholar who is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa Nation. Her work focuses on Ojibwe performance and stories, public humanities, feminism, and anti-colonial dramaturgy. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University. She is an alum of Yale University’s Indigenous Performing Arts Program and was previously a literary fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

The 2024 RLC cohort was chosen by a panel of theatre professionals and is funded in part by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Live Entertainment, and the Joyce Foundation.

“TCG’s professional development programs are needed now more than ever,” Karena Fiorenza, TCG’s interim chief executive officer, said in a statement. “As BIPOC theatre leaders, we’ve always sought each other out for support and insight in navigating a theatre ecology that too often still replicates the racism of our broader culture. That’s why programs like the RLC have such a tangible impact on the lives and careers of participants.”

Founded in 1961, TCG leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology and represents more than 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year.

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ADV – Billboard