The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes design enhancement Fund
Collapsible Giraffe, Dream of a Red Chamber // Photo by Joshua Higgason
2014 Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund Recipient
The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund was created from the estate of noted designers Edith Lutyens and her husband, Norman Bel Geddes. Edith Lutyens Bel Geddes was a theatrical costume designer and producer, who also ran a costume shop in New York City. In 1954, she shared a Tony Award for the costume design of Ondine. Mrs. Bel Geddes was also the publisher of Theatre Arts magazine from 1958 through 1960. Norman Bel Geddes started his career as a scenic designer for The Metropolitan Opera. He eventually shifted his focus to industrial design and was the first person to seriously apply the concepts of aerodynamics and streamlining to that field. In 1939, he designed the General Motors Pavilion for the New York World’s Fair.
Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes created their namesake foundation to support the design and production costs of New York City-based nonprofit theatre companies. Grants from the foundation are intended to give a theatre company additional resources, beyond what the company can afford on its own, to more fully address the design needs of a specific project. It was the Bel Geddes’ desire that these awards have a significant impact on the production capabilities and creative life of designers. These are enhancement grants intended to augment the artistic needs of a production and allow a designer to more fully realize his/her artistic vision. In order to have the most significant impact, these funds must supplement the current production budget. Grant uses might include, but are not limited to: increasing the costume or set design budget, paying for additional lighting or sound equipment, or allowing for the use of alternative media.
The application period for 2014 has closed. Notifications for this grant will go out in early December, 2014.
In 2015, the application will open in early September for productions taking place throughout 2016.
- Applicant must be a current member of A.R.T./New York;
- Applicant must have its own 501(c)(3) status (no fiscal sponsorship accepted);
- Applicant must NOT have had annual expenses totaling over $5,000,000 for its most recently completed fiscal year. This includes all non-theatre related programming and activities, except capital campaigns;
- Applicant must NOT have received funding from the foundation in both of the last two consecutive years;
- Applicant must only request funding for a project that occurs in New York City between January 1, and December 31, 2015;
- Applicant must NOT use grant money for salaries, fees, labor, training programs, or travel expenses. Applicants can ask for funding for only one production; however, funding may enhance more than one design element. Due to limited funds, grants typically do not exceed $10,000.
- Presenters applying on behalf of a company that does not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered.
APPLICATION NARRATIVE GUIDELINES
The narrative portion of the application is your opportunity to not only describe your organization’s mission, core programming, and goals for the future, but also to distinguish your organization from others producing potentially similar work. As you write, please keep the following in mind.
- The requested grant amount should be based on a realistic evaluation of the needs of the project. Due to limited funds, grants typically do not exceed $10,000.
- The panel carefully considers whether applicants will have enough time to implement the design enhancement. Therefore, while all projects occurring during 2015 are eligible, applicants with projects in January must show they have sufficient time to execute the specific design enhancement requested.
- In cases where a funded project is delayed until 2016, organizations must return the funds to A.R.T./New York as soon as the delay is confirmed.
- Organizations should not rely on past accolades or assume any preexisting knowledge that panelists or the Foundation might have of their work.
- The purchase of equipment is possible through this fund. However, requests for equipment purchase must address why purchasing is better than renting, how purchasing it will specifically serve this production and enhance the designer's experience, and what the cost of renting is, in comparison.
- The request must constitute a genuine enhancement to production design(s) already in place; a lack of funding should not impair the production as originally envisioned by the design team.
Applicants are required to upload the following documents as part of the online application:
- Operating budgets for your most recently completed fiscal year and your current year-to-date actuals and year-end projections. If your production is going to occur in the next fiscal year, please add a column for that year as well. Use the Budget Form template provided (download here). Please round your numbers to the nearest dollar. If your theatre program is only a portion of your programming, please include a separate budget for the theatre program. Note that Accumulated Surplus/Deficit refers to the organizations cumulative net assets; it will not auto add based on numbers entered into the spreadsheet.
- Budget notes for any line item that changes more than 10% (up or down) between subsequent years.
- A full production budget for the proposed project that includes a separate column indicating where enhancement funds would be applied if awarded. The most successful applicants offer a clear breakdown of how the funds will be spent. Include a full production budget, not one exclusive to the design element(s) for which you are requesting funds.
- A biography of the designer(s) who will be working on the funded elements.
- A copy of your 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter.
- Your performance history for your most recently completed and current seasons. Include staged readings, full productions, school programs, and any other artistic output of the organization. For each piece, list the title, performance dates, and venue capacity. Use the prepared Performance History template (download here). It is strongly suggested to note if the designer(s) you are working with for the proposed production worked on any productions in the performance history.
For more information about this program, please contact Ann Marie Lonsdale, Director of Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 244-6667 ext. 221.
2015 EDITH LUTYENS AND NORMAN BEL GEDDES FUND GRANT RECIPIENTS
Hotel Savant // Alas, The Nymphs
To Enhance Designs By John Jahnke and Gordon Landenberger.
New York City Players // The Evening
To Enhance Designs By Kaye Voyce.
Parallel Exit, Inc. // EVERYBODY GETS CAKE
To Enhance Designs By Maruti Evans.
Pregones Theater // The Desire of The Astronaut
To Enhance Designs By Lucrecia Briceño.
Red Bull Theater // 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
To Enhance Designs By Sara Tosetti.
The Play Company // Ludic Proxy
To Enhance Designs By Jeanette Yew and Jian Jung.
The Team // RoosevElvis
To Enhance Designs By Nicholas Vaughan.
Vampire Cowboys // Six Rounds of Vengeance
To Enhance Designs By N. Francone, K. Makowski, M. Tennie, D. Valentine.
The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund was made possible by generous funding from the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Foundation.