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Theatre Communications Group Launches New Round of Rising Leaders of Color Program

Stage Directions • Industry News • March 16, 2021

Seeking early-career NYC-based BIPOC leaders in all theatre disciplines

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce the launch of the sixth iteration of its Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program. In 2021, RLC will form a cohort of eight highly talented early-career BIPOC leaders based in New York City boroughs who are advancing their careers in the U.S. not-for-profit theatre and related sectors, are committed to advancing an equitable theatre field, and demonstrate strong potential to become change agents impacting the field in a significant way. The program is supported in part by the Howard Gilman Foundation, an organization supporting performing arts organizations in New York City. The application and recommendation deadline is Monday, April 5, 2021, 12pm ET and the guidelines can be found here. An info session webinar was held on Wednesday, March 10, 3PM ET and can be found here.

“Evolving from TCG’s Young Leaders of Color program that launched in 2008 and the SPARK Leadership Program founded in 2013, the Rising Leaders of Color Program reflects TCG’s deep commitment to BIPOC theatre makers and aligns with our newly clarified mission to lead for a just and thriving theatre ecology.” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “We look forward to working with this next cohort to continue building an ever-growing intergenerational network of BIPOC leaders.”

“We are thrilled to launch the sixth round of the Rising Leaders of Color program.” said Emilya Cachapero, director of artistic & international programs. “More than ever, as this country wrestles with its legacy of racism and inaction, it is essential to uplift and support BIPOC leaders who have exhibited their commitment to creating a more just society. The 44 alumni of the program have already made impactful contributions to the theatre field and their communities We look forward to identifying a new cohort who will undoubtedly be at the forefront of shaping our theatre field’s future.”

The 2021 RLC Program will combine practical skills building with professional connections and opportunities to develop empowering relationships, as well as tools and resources to navigate a career in the theatre field as a BIPOC leader. Activities include:

  • Workshops throughout the year designed to strengthen the participants’ leadership skills, provide a catalyst for personal growth, and to inform participants of the current state of the field;
  • Regular all-cohort meetings;
  • Introductions to individually identified thought partners;
  • Individual coaching sessions with specialists and TCG staff; and
  • Access to veteran leaders of the field and a national network of peers.

Due to continuing health and safety restrictions, program activities will take place online and span from May 2021 through June 2022.

RLC builds on the learnings and momentum of the Young Leaders of Color Program (YLC) and the SPARK Leadership Programs. From 2008-2013, YLC brought 79 leaders of color to TCG National Conferences. RLC expands and re-envisions that community as part of an ongoing national network of leaders of color. During 2014-15, the SPARK Leadership Program assembled a cohort of ten leaders of color for a focused, year-long professional development curriculum. Through RLC and SPARK and its other professional development programs, TCG has supported a variety of learning opportunities and networking programs to meet the diverse needs of BIPOC theatre leaders at various stages of their career.

To learn more about the program, please visit:

Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. The Howard Gilman Foundation honors his legacy by supporting the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations in New York City.

Further information from the Theatre Communications Group (TCG):


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