Announcing CTFA’s 2018 Founders Project Fulfillment Grant: FACE TO FACE/Rising Youth Theatre

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CTFA is proud to announce the first biennial Founders Fund Project Fulfillment Grant which is being awarded to Rising Youth Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. The Founders Fund is the general fund of the Children's Theatre Foundation of America which supports Founders Fund Grants for Projects of Excellence and National Significance that are unique and new to the field of theatre for young audiences. This RFP issued a challenge to theatres to show leadership in dismantling institutional and structural racism. Through offering this RFP to non-profit theatres, CTFA is supporting a ground-breaking project that demonstrates diversity, racial equity and inclusion and promotes the involvement of communities that have been historically disadvantaged and socially and politically excluded based on race.

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CTFA is awarding Rising Youth Theatre $27,600.00 for a 3-year project that will make a difference in the field of theatre for young audiences and will produce outcomes that can be applied nationally. In addition, CTFA is going to be involved in the project and will provide a board liaison to support the work. The board of CTFA was inspired by the Rising Youth Theater’s innovation in their work especially site-specific productions. Their caucus group structure called story circle conversations led by youth ensemble members and adults trained in the process and the issues will identify their direction so that their story content emerges from the people and captures their voices in devised student work. They are a grass roots theatre living their values. After extensive review discussion, we decided that funding a project in the trenches – a young but successful working theatre – would send a message to the field that we were serious about funding concrete action for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. And we decided that we would invest our money for this first large grant in a PROCESS involving the community that could be a model and be implemented in other communities. We felt this project would be moving new people into the field and would be grooming new youth for leadership in the field. This has the potential to open eyes and ears and challenge assumptions, deepen awareness, and activate change-makers.
HISTORY of the FOUNDERS GRANTS: Named in honor of the Founders of CTFA, who understood the dreams and potentials for the field of theatre for children and young audiences, the Children's Theatre Foundation of America (CTFA) Founders Grants have in more than fifty years supported diverse projects of national significance including national and international theatre festivals; research in theatre education and theatre practice; publications; U.S.A. representation abroad in theatre festivals and symposiums; scholarships, playwriting and other work of theatre artists and scholars.