A new organization is offering $15,000 grants to theater designers just beginning their careers. The 1/52 Project is funded by designers with shows running on Broadway who are encouraged to donate one week every year of their weekly royalties to the fund. The grants are meant to encourage early career designers from historically excluded groups, with the aim of diversifying and strengthening the Broadway design community.
"I always understood how lucky I was to work on Broadway," said the organization's founder and Tony-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt, "but the past few years made clear to me what should probably have already been obvious, that part of my ‘good luck' was being born a white boy; that simple fact opened doors for me. I hope this project can do a little to help support the careers of a more diverse group of designers."
Among the first to donate to the project were Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty (Chicago), Tony Award winner Nevin Steinberg (Hamilton), Tony Award winner Jennifer Tipton (To Kill a Mockingbird), Tony Award Nominee Jeff Sugg (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Tony Meola (Wicked), and Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter (Freestyle Love Supreme).
The 1/52 Project will open applications in mid-January, and accept them until May 15. Finalists will be notified by July 1, and interviewed by the selection committee in August. Grant recipients will be announced on Labor Day.
Applicants will be chosen based on talent, creativity, innovation, and potential for future excellence in the professional theatrical field. Demonstrated financial need will be a determining factor. Click here to read detailed application criteria.
Applicants will be adjudicated by a committee comprising Tony Award-nominated costume designer Dede Ayite, projection designer David Bengali, set designer Wilson Chin, lighting designer Allan Edwards, Tony Award-winning sound designer Kai Harada, set designer Kimie Nishikawa, Tony Award-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell, costume designer Alejo Vietti, and costume designer Anita Yavich.