Grantmaking History

"I have been a recipient of many grants from TCG, and it's had a huge impact on my career. TCG is the place where theatre becomes a community."
- Michael John Garcés, artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company

TCG has awarded grants, scholarships and travel subsidies since 1962, shortly after its founding. Please read about the various programming throughout our history below, sorted into thematic categories.

To view our current programming, click here. To receive email updates when applications are available, subscribe to TCG Grant Updates.

Acting Fellowships

Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships
Years Active: 2006-Today | Recipients: View

Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships support actors and their artistic and professional development. Awards to actors are in two areas: Distinguished Achievement grants of $25,000 for actors with a substantial body of work and Exceptional Merit grants of $15,000 plus additional support for established actors. Host theatres receive $7,500 for costs associated with residency.

This long-running TCG program is funded by the William & Eva Fox Foundation.

Arts Journalism

American Theatre Bay Area Commissioning Fund
Years Active: 2008-2010 | Recipients: View

American Theatre’s Bay Area Commissioning Fund sought to establish and/or strengthen ongoing professional relationships with selected arts writers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The program was designed to bring Bay Area theatres and artists to national attention by broadening and deepening the magazine's coverage of theatre activities and issues in the region. Each selected writer received $2,500 over the course of his or her affiliation. Recipients maintained regular communication with the American Theatre staff about news and trends in Bay Area theatre, and completed two articles, one of which was to be an in-depth, research-intensive piece.

This program was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

American Theatre Affiliated Writers Program
Years Active: ## | Recipients: ##

American Theatre’s Affiliated Writers Program was designed to stimulate high quality cultural reporting, feature writing and theatre criticism that breaks past its own boundaries: 1) the geographical restrictions most theatre writers face, limited by economics to working in local areas of the country and 2) the narrow confines of theatre "reviewing"—too often treated as judgment for judgment's sake. This program was only open to early-career arts writers New York City and Minnesota.

This program was funded by the Jerome Foundation.


NEA/TCG Career Development Program: Designers
Years Active: 1987-2011 | Recipients: ##

The program offered exceptionally talented, early-career theatre designers the opportunity to spend six months over a two-year period developing their design skills, expanding their artistic boundaries and increasing their knowledge of the field. Each experience is hand-tailored, matching recipients’ goals to appropriate and challenging assignments.

This program was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The Willa Kim Costume Design Scholarship
Years Active: 2019-Today | Recipients: View

The Willa Kim Costume Design Scholarship provides exceptionally talented costume designers who are enrolled in a university or professional training program with the opportunity to supplement their fine arts training in hand drawing and/or painting. The scholarship offers undergraduate and graduate students up to $7,500 to be used towards tuition, registration, and/or supplies.

This program is funded by the Estate of Willa Kim.


NEA/TCG Career Development Program: Directors
Years Active: 1987-2011 | Recipients: ##

The program offered exceptionally talented, early-career theatre directors the opportunity to spend six months over a two-year period expanding their artistic boundaries and increasing their knowledge of the field. Each experience is hand-tailored, matching recipients’ goals to appropriate and challenging assignments.

This program was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Alan Schneider Director Award
Years Active: 1987-Today | Recipients: View

The Alan Schneider Director Award was established in honor of Alan Schneider's significant contribution to the American theatre and his lifelong concern for the development of career opportunities for freelance directors. The biannual award is designed to identify and assist exceptional mid-career directors whose talent has been demonstrated through work in specific regions, but who may not be well known nationally. The recipient receives $7,500 which may be used for travel, research or other activities specifically focused on the development of the directing craft or related career opportunities.

This program is funded by the Alan Schneider Memorial Fund.

Intergenerational Networks of Color

Young Leaders of Color Program
Years Active: 2008-2012 | Participants: View

The Young Leaders of Color (YLC) Program was created to gather groups of early-career theatre professionals of color from around the US at TCG’s National Conferences to engage in a dialogue about the new generation of leadership. TCG was interested in learning more about the goals, challenges, and thoughts of the next generation of leadership from diverse perspectives in order to ensure our programs could best support the field. There were 79 alumni of this program working around the country in the areas of artistic, administrative, education and production. Based on the learnings of YLC, TCG launched the SPARK Leadership Program and the Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program. Together, SPARK and RLC aimed to change the face of the theatre field by nurturing and supporting an intergenerational network of leaders of color at various stages in their careers.

This program was funded by ????.

SPARK Leadership Program
Years Active: 2014-2015 | Participants: View

One of the programs in TCG’s Leading the Charge: Diversity & Inclusion Initiative was the SPARK Leadership Program. The specific intent of SPARK was to create a more diverse theatre landscape by supporting the professional development of exceptional rising leaders of color who aim to take on executive leadership positions at U.S. not-for-profit theatres. Building on the success of the Young Leaders of Color program, this pilot program provided ten leaders who self-identify as leaders of color with the opportunity to participate in a curriculum that focused on knowledge & skills-building, networking & professional connections and self-awareness & inclusion training.

This program was funded by American Express and the Joyce Foundation.

Rising Leaders of Color
Years Active: 2016-Today | Participants: View

Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) develops and highlights exceptionally talented early-career leaders of color across the U.S. The program offers a year-long professional development curriculum designed to deepen the participants’ analysis of equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as develop a strong set of leadership tools. In its third and fourth rounds, RLC included funding for leaders of color who are advancing their career in theatre criticism/journalism.

This program has been generously funded by many partners, which in its fourth round included The Hearst Foundations, The Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Knight Foundation. See all funders here.

Playwriting & New Work

AT&T: On Stage
Years Active: 1985-2005 | Recipients: ##

AT&T: OnStage was an invitational initiative aimed at supporting fully produced mainstage productions, not at the developmental stages of new work. Eligible proposals included: premieres of new plays or music-theatre works in mainstage productions. These new works must not have previously received critical reviews or notices as fully staged productions, though they may have had readings and workshops during a developmental phase; Newly commissioned English language translations of plays not frequently performed in English in the eligible countries; New theatrical adaptations of pre-existing material, for which full-scale mounting offers the potential to expand the canon of literature available for the theatre. The program reflected AT&T’s long-standing commitment to innovation and diversity in the theatre arts, with particular attention to the work of women and artists of diverse cultures.

This program was funded by AT&T.

TCG/MetLife Foundation Extended Collaboration Grant
Years Active: 1989-2004 | Recipients: ##

The Extended Collaboration Grants program supported over theatre in the creation of new theatrical work. By providing funding for travel, research, and workshops, the program has helped playwrights and their artistic collaborators devote additional time beyond theatres' normal production and rehearsal schedules, and allowed them to give focused attention to the demands of working on new plays. This consistent investment in research and development has been remarkably productive, leading subsequently to nearly four dozen fully realized productions presented by over fifty theatres throughout the country.

This program was funded by the MetLife Foundation.

Absolut Stages
Years Active: 1996 | Recipients: ##

This program was conceived to provide greater opportunity for playwrights of color to develop and showcase new work and to encourage mutually challenging and beneficial collaborations between theatres and these artists.

This program was funded by Absolut Vodka.

NEA/TCG Residency Program for Playwrights
Years Active: 1997-2006 | Recipients: View

The NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights afforded playwrights the opportunity to create new plays in residence at a host theatre and to become an integral part of the theatre's artistic life and community activities. The program placed playwrights at the center of the creative process, adding artistic depth to institutions and bringing the writer and community together. Playwrights received $25,000 each in support of the residencies. In addition, host theatres were provided with $4,500 each to enhance their ability to support the work of the resident playwright.

Playwright residences were made possible by major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and were supported, in part, by The Ford Foundation.

AT&T: First Stage
Years Active: 2001 | Recipients: ##

AT&T: First Stage was launched in recognition of the profound impact that early experiences with the arts can have on the development of young people and on their future participation in their communities and in the arts. This program was intended to encourage the development of theatrically sophisticated works that acknowledge young people’s intelligence, awaken their imagination and inspire creativity, while providing a fully realized theatrical experience for adults.

This program was funded by AT&T.

Professional Development & Mentoring

National Theatre Artist Residency Program
Years Active: 1992-2002 | Recipients: ##

The National Theatre Artist Residency Program was designed to foster both new and expanded relationships between theatres and individual artists. By augmenting the resources available for long-term artist residencies, the program was intended to provide the expanded time necessary to develop deep and lasting artistic partnerships, as well as to offer artists substantial and appropriate compensation. By encouraging new expanded roles for artists within theatre organizations, the program sought to build more robust and creative institutions.

This program was funded by ???.

New Generations: Future Leaders
Years Active: 2001-2012 | Recipients: ##

In the New Generations program, Future Leaders initiative, the program sought to identify exceptionally talented theatre professionals who would impact the field in a positive way. The program hoped to nurture future leaders in all areas of theatre including but not limited to acting, administration/management, craft areas, design, directing, dramaturgy/literary management, playwriting, producing, stage management and technical production.

This program was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Leadership U[niversity]
Years Active: 2012-2018 | Recipients: One-on-One; Continuing Ed

Leadership U[niversity] prepared professionals from all areas of the theatre for greater leadership responsibilities and long-term careers in the field. The program awarded grants in two different initiatives: One-on-One grants of $75,000 plus additional support for rising leaders and Continuing Ed grants of up to $5,000 for mid-career and veteran professionals.

This program was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Theatre Development & Engagement

New Generations: Future Audiences
Years Active: 2001-2012 | Recipients: View

In the New Generations program, Future Audiences initiative, proposals were accepted from theatres for whom support allowed for the development and/or expansion of technology strategies that engaged age-specific, culturally specific and/or underserved communities that had proven to be successful and had been implemented for at least two years.

This program was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

MetLife/TCG Aha! Think It, Do It
Years Active: 2008-2014 | Recipients: View

A program for TCG member theatres that supported creative thinking and action in two ways: Think It grants ($25,000) gave theatre professionals the time and space for research and development, Do It grants ($50,000) supported the implementation and testing of new ideas. The intent of the program was to enable theatres to dare to try new approaches to problem-solving artistic, managerial, production and/or technological challenges-to try things the organization doesn't and couldn't normally do. The MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program aimed to encourage theatres to discover and identify new strategies that will have far-reaching effect in helping organizations do their best work.

This program was funded by the MetLife Foundation.

Audience (R)Evolution
Years Active: 2013-Today | Recipients: View

Audience (R)Evolution is a multi-year program to study, promote, and support successful audience engagement and community development models for the U.S. not-for-profit theatre. Now in its third round of activity, the program has traditionally supported four phases of programmatic activities: research and assessment; convenings; grantmaking; and widespread dissemination.

This program is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Travel & International Collaborations

TCG Visitation Program
Years Active: 1962-1963 | Recipients: ##


This program was funded solely by ???.

TCG Observership Program
Years Active: 1962-2009 | Recipients: View

Recipients of the Observership Program, TCG's oldest grant and the only one funded solely by TCG, were given travel stipends up to $2,000 to travel across the country and internationally. The program provides opportunities for key staff at TCG's member theatres to observe the administration and artistic work of other theatres and meet with colleagues.

This program was funded solely by TCG.

International Theatre Partnerships
Years Active: 1998-1999 | Recipients: ##


This program was funded by ???.

TCG/ITI Travel Grants
Years Active: 1999-2009 | Recipients: View

The Theatre Communications Group/International Theatre Institute (TCG/ITI) Travel Grants were designed to foster cultural exchange and artistic partnerships between theatre professionals in the United States and their counterparts in Russia, Eastern Europe or Central Europe. These $3,500 grants supported trips in either direction by theatre artists, administrators and educators, enabling these professionals to share ideas, gain exposure to each other's cultural traditions and contemporary theatre techniques and/or work together.

This program was funded by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

New Generations: Future Collaborations
Years Active: 2007-2010 | Recipients: View

In the New Generations program, Future Collaborations initiative, travel grants of up to $6,000 were given to theatres and theatre professionals for unrestricted international travel, enabling them to share ideas and techniques and/or collaborate with their colleagues around the world.

This program was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Global Connections
Years Active: 2011-Today | Recipients: View

Global Connections supports geographically unrestricted travel to foster international collaborations between US-based artists and their colleagues around the world. The program offers funding in two different categories: On the Road travel grants of up to $5,000 each and In the Lab project development grants of $10,000 each.

This program is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Photo Credits: From top left, Di Zhu as Lucia in Another Life, by Karen Malpede, Global Connections, photo by Beatriz Schiller; Pearl Khuu, Grace Nevarez-Ortiz, Annabel Brain Hope, Celeste Zuleta, Brianna Robert, Alasia Waters, and Lewana Kidane in Artist-Investigator Jo Kreiter’s GirlFly, MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program, photo by Rapt Productions; Bruce Turk at Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow, photo by Tan Chui Mui; Mark Kidd, Megan Sandberg-Zakian, Ashley Davis, Jason Goedken, Herbert Siguenza, New Generations Future Leaders, photo by Michal Daniel; Bart DeLorenzo, Alan Schneider Award, photo by Michal Daniel.  From bottom left, Amanda Delheimer Dimond, Quentin Talley, Maureen Towey, Matt O'Hare, Diana Buirski, Leadership U[niversity] Mentees, photo by Michal Daniel; Fernando Córdova and Artús Chávez Novelo in Guerra by Seth Bockley and Devon De Mayo, Global Connections, photo by Ernesto Muñoz; Andre Lancaster, Young Leaders of Color, photo by Michal Daniel; Laurie McCants in Industrious Angels, Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow, photo by Cindy McBeth Collins.Top of page