Announcement: New York Theater Program


Dear NYC Theatre Community: 

We are thrilled to share the news with you that next month A.R.T./New York will begin planning for the next round of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's New York Theater Program (NYTP) as a re-granting program. We have been entrusted to design a selection and panel process intend to make millions of dollars in support available to the New York City theatre community by way of multi-year, general operating funds. This is a great honor, and we are humbled that The Mellon Foundation has asked us to work in partnership with them. 

As some of you can attest, this grant program is an example of the best that foundation grantmaking can be: large grants made over multiple years, with few programmatic restrictions. This type of funding is based on a relationship of mutual trust and respect between the funder and the theatre. The bones of the program are incredibly strong, and we inherit a brilliant legacy. However, as the needs of the community are ever-changing, there is always room for innovation as we strive to expand our impact. 

For A.R.T./New York, this means investigating new ways of incorporating feedback, listening, and connection in our planning process. This is why we are taking a full year for site visits to see work and meet with theatre staff. The brilliant Todd London, speaking to a group of colleagues in the arts service field, said, "ecosystems can, in fact, be echo-systems," and we take this warning to heart. We cannot just do what has always been done. We need to listen intently, and hear what the field is saying to us. We need to seek out those companies and artists who have been overlooked because of systemic oppression or because they define success by nontraditional metrics. We also want to streamline the grant process so that it's less cumbersome and more impactful, without losing the rigor that characterizes Mellon's and A.R.T./New York's work in the field. 

You can find more specific information about the program on A.R.T./New York's website, and we'll continue to provide updates as they emerge. In the meantime, we invite you to join us in making this program as dynamic as the New York theatre scene. Your work, your artistry, your excellence, your impact, your love, and your community are what make this opportunity so special. We seek your recommendations for auditors, the members of our community who will actually see and evaluate artistic work, as well as nominations for theatre companies to be considered for the grant. We hope that you will share your thoughts and ideas with us, as we move forward on planning the future of NYTP. 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's New York Theater Program is truly an amazing opportunity for A.R.T./New York to fulfill our mission of service to nonprofit theatres. We are grateful to serve you in this capacity, and know that with your partnership, we will make it the best it can be. 

With best wishes, 


Ginny and Ann Marie

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