Thursday, December 18, 2014

National Endowment for the Arts 2015 Funding Guidelines Posted

Guidelines and application materials for two National Endowment for the Arts funding categories have been posted on the NEA's website. The 2015 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects anticipated to take place beginning in 2016. Any non-profit 501(c)3 organization, unit of state or local government, or federally recognized tribal community with at least a three year programming history is eligible to apply for project-based support through these two programs. Together, Art Works and Challenge America constitute approximately 75 percent of the NEA's annual direct grantmaking (exclusive of state and regional partnership agreements).

Art Works is the NEA's largest funding category, supporting the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. In fiscal year 2014, the NEA supported 1799 grants totaling $49.4 million through Art Works. The deadlines for Art Works applications are February 19 and July 23, 2015 depending on the artistic discipline and/or type of project for which an organization seeks support.

Challenge America offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. In fiscal year 2014, Challenge America funded 147 grants totaling $1.47 million. The deadline for Challenge America is April 16, 2015.

Guidelines and application materials are in the Apply for a Grant section of the NEA website.

To see the kinds of projects supported through these two categories, go to the Recent Grants section of the NEA website.

In order to offer potential applicants the highest level of technical assistance, the NEA has scheduled webinars covering the basics of the Art Works and Challenge America funding categories, including how to apply to the NEA, how to select work samples, and how to prepare a strong application. After each presentation, there will be time for Q and A with NEA staff.

The Art Works webinar is scheduled for January 21, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The Challenge America session will be on March 11, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. To sign up for either or both webinars, go to the webinar section of the NEA website.

Both webinars will be archived shortly after each event and posted on the NEA website in the webinar section.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to strengthen the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Summer 2015 After School Matters Advanced Internship Program

After School Matters seeks theatre-related companies and businesses to host teens participating in the Advanced Internship during the summer of 2015. This program, the After School Matters Advanced Internship Program, is offered to the most experienced and successful teens who have already participated in ASM programs and are ready to take the next step toward their futures through internships with theatre industry. The Summer 2015 Advanced Internship Program session will run Monday, June 29th through Thursday, August 3rd. Interns are financially compensated for their participation through After School Matters.

Interested Employers can access the online application, and create the teen job description, here: For more information on the After School Matters Advanced Internship program, please contact Erick Deshaun Dorris at

Start Date: 6/29/15
End Date: 8/3/15

6 weeks
4 days/week
6 hours per day
** Teens are compensated by After School Matters

Thursday, January 8,. 2015 – Employer Informational/Orientation
March 1-3, 2015 – Teen application period
April 13 – May 8th – Teen Interview Window
May 8, 2015 – Teen/Employer Matches are finalized
Wk. of June 22-26th, Teen/Employer Orientation (TBD)
Wk. August 20 – 24th, Culminating Event/Reception

Employer Application
Interested Employers can access the online application, and create the teen job description, here:

Erick Dorris, Senior Program Director
(773) 217-9136 – cell
312-702-8965 – office

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fifth Annual Chicago Theater (Un)Conference Seeks Speakers/Topics

January 31-Feburary 2, 2015
The Chicago Theater (Un)Conference is back, a joint effort between the League of Chicago Theatres and Theater Wit. A full weekend structured to maximize conversation and exploration more than presentation self-generated from the Chicago Theater Community.

You should be a part of it, we want to ask questions like:
What should we demand of the theater, as artists and audiences?
What's the best idea you implemented all year?
How do we make our work and our community even better?
Where do we stand, as a community of artists, within a city, within a country?
What genius solution did you come up with at Konak's that no one has ever tried?

Call for topics and speakers
CT(u)C is a community generated conference. We are entirely driven by your suggestions and proposals. Is there something or someone you'd like to see / hear from? Let us know in our suggestion box. SUGGEST A TOPIC

Or why not propose a specific topic yourself?
Make a speaker proposal, share your knowledge and attend that day of the conference for free.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We Must Breathe: A Response from Chicago Playwrights and Poets

Victory Gardens Theater announces We Must Breathe: A Response from Chicago Playwrights and Poets, a special event gathering members of Chicago’s artistic community to share their views on discrimination, race and inequality and engage Chicagoans in a discussion about these social issues. We Must Breathe features performances from poets and playwrights directed by Victory Gardens’ Associate Artistic Producer Joanie Schultz, and a forum discussion on the performance topics, moderated by Congo Square Theatre’s Artistic Director Samuel Roberson. The event is on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:00pm at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, and is free and open to the public.

In recent months the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd, and countless others have brought to light ongoing national issues of race, discrimination and inequality. Droves of individuals across the country have taken to the streets participating in rallies, riots and die-ins. During this one-night-only event, members of the Chicago artistic community will address these topics through artistic expression.

We Must Breathe begins with performance pieces from a diverse group of artists, including Victory Gardens Ensemble playwrights Marcus Gardley (The Gospel of Lovingkindness; Black Odyssey) and Tanya Saracho (El Nogalar; Mala Hierba), Nambi Kelley (Native Son), Andrew Hinderaker (Dirty; Suicide Incorporated), Kristiana Colón (Octagon; Lack on Lack), Calamity West (The Peacock, The Gacy Play), Damon Williams (Lack on Lack), Nikki Patin (Surviving the Mic), Javon Smith (Louder than a Bomb), Kevin Coval (Young Chicago Authors) and Malcolm London (Young Chicago Authors) and several others. Performances are directed by Joanie Schultz. Following the performances is an open forum, moderated by Samuel Roberson exploring the social issues expressed by the featured artists.

Admission to We Must Breathe is free and open to the public, but reservations are required as space is limited. To reserve tickets to We Must Breathe, visit or call the Victory Gardens box office at 773-871-3000.

We Must Breathe will be livestreamed courtesy of Follow the event live on Twitter using #wemustbreathe.

The Coalition in support of We Must Breathe includes: Mothers of Murdered Sons, Congo Square Theatre, Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, I Grow Chicago, J-DEF Peace Project, Imagine Englewood If..., Arte y Vida, Dr. Soyini Madison of Northwestern University, JRV MAJESTY Productions, Civil Rights Agenda, League of Chicago Theatres, Amnesty International, Dr. Noni Gaylord-Harden of Loyola University, Black Ensemble Theatre, and Adventure Stage Chicago.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Space Availability at Steep Theatre

Steep Theatre’s storefront space is available for daytime rentals. The 60-seat blackbox theatre and spacious lobby are ideal for classes, rehearsals and auditions. The space is fully ADA compliant and conveniently located next to the Berwyn Red Line stop. Contact for more information.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Industry Ticket Offers

The Merry Widow - Light Opera Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson in Evanston, is offering half-price industry tickets on December 19, 20 and 27 at 8 p.m., and December 21 and 26 at 2 p.m. For tickets call 847-920-5360 or visit and use code "waltz." Tickets must be purchased in advance. No door sales.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dead Writers Theatre Collective Launches Training Wing

Dead Writers is offering a 6-week intensive class on developing and/or perfecting British classic comic technique taught by Dead Writers
Artistic Director Jim Schneider and Collective member and veteran of London's West End Betsy Pennington Taylor. In this class you will learn:
• The Evolution & History of High Comedy
• The Differences between American & English Acting
• How to fully utilize the arsenal of words
• Fine tune and polish intonation and diction of RP and Heightened RP accent within a given text
• How to analyze text for comic clues regarding timing and delivery
• Differences in acting styles of Sheridan, Wycherley,Wilde, Coward and Ayckbourn
• Vocal and period specific physical character development
The 6th class will be a showcase performance for agents, family, friends and casting directors.

This 2-day workshop is a must for anyone planning to put on their own show or start their own not-for-profit theatre company!

Dead Writers is offering a 2-day intensive workshop on planning and executing your own production or not-for-profit theatre company without losing your shirt or blouse.

In this 10-hour, 2-day comprehensive workshop you will learn how to:
• create a working budget and business plan
• basics of grant writing
• locating and booking a venue
• securing donations
• the art of the "ask" in fundraising
• tips on marketing and filling the seats
• how to incorporate and become a 501(c)(3)
• select mandatory and appropriate insurance coverage
• most common mistakes made by young producers
This class will be taught by industry specialists on each subject.

NET/TEN Exchange Grants Intent to Apply Due December 10

The intent to apply period for 2014-15 NET/TEN Exchange Grants closes next week!
• Log-in HERE using your NET member username and password to access the online application
• Lead applicants must be NET members in the Ensemble category in good standing
• You will be asked to identify your proposed project partner(s) and provide a brief description of the project
• The intent to apply is due by Wednesday, December 10th at Noon PT / 3pm ET. You must hit [SAVE] at the bottom of the page in order for your intent to be processed
• The full application will be made available to eligible applicants on January 5th, 2015 (3.5 weeks prior to the full application deadline, January 10th, 2015)

Please join us for an online information session about NET/TEN Exchange Grants!
THIS WEEK - Friday, December 5th
11:00am - 12:00pm PT / 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT / 2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

This session will include:
• Overview of the NET/TEN program
• Exchange Grant Program Goals and Criteria
• Examples of Projects
• Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)
• Walk-through of the "Intent to Apply" process
• 15 minute Q & A

Click link below OR copy and paste into your browser:

Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended.

Or, join by phone. Call: +1 (510) 201-0301 and enter access code: 117-659-549

NOTE: The session will include a PowerPoint presentation. People who join by phone will not have access to this content until after the session.

You are invited to contact Park Cofield, Program Associate with specific questions at or by calling 323-638-4870.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2015 Saints Grants Program

The Saints would like to inform theater, dance, and music organizations of the opening of their 2015 Grants Program. The Saints invite and encourage performing arts organizations to apply for this grant assistance to be used for artistic development or production-related purposes. Budget requests up to $7,500 will be considered for projects covering the performance year from June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016.

The Grant guidelines, application facsimile and FAQ page can now be accessed on the Saints website at in the Grants tab on the left. The actual Grant application will be available by the end of December 2014. Online applications will be accepted between January 1, 2015 and February 28, 2015. This year, The Saints will award $115,000 in Grants.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Industry Ticket Offers

Vatzlav- Trap Door Theatre at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division Street, is offering complimentary tickets for their one night re-mount of last season's absurdist comedy hit on Friday 12/5 at 8pm. Performance is part of The Chopin Theatre's Weekend Festival Tribute to Z. Herbet and S. Mrozek. To make your reservations, visit

Airline Highway - Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, is offering $20 Tickets to any Thursday, Friday or Sunday evening performance between Dec 4 – 21. Use code “18965”online at or call Audience Services at 312-335-1650. Tickets must be reserved at least one hour before performance. Subject to availability.

The Clean House –Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, is offering $15 industry tickets to The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. This offer is valid for Preview Performances and any Friday performance through January 11. Please mention the code INDUSTRY when reserving tickets by phone or walk-up. Call 773.404.7336 or visit for more information.

The Christmas Schooner - Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 North Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613, is offering a limited number of $15 Industry tickets on Friday, December 5th at 7:30pm and Friday, December 12th at 7:30pm. Discounted tickets are available with code "INDUSTRY" when you call 773-325-1700.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Director/Dramatist Exchange at Steppenwolf Theatre

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 7 PM to 9 PM
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Administrative Offices
758 W. North Avenue, 3rd Floor

The event will be co-hosted by Cheryl Coons (Chicago Regional Rep, Dramatists Guild of America) and Daren Leonard (Associate Artistic Director, DirectorsLabChicago).This two-hour networking session will introduce directors to dramatists who are working on new plays and/or new musicals in the Chicago area. After a brief introduction, dramatists and directors may mingle and talk further.

If you would like to attend, please e-mail us at: no later than Monday, December 1, 2014.

The first 15 directors who respond will receive a reservation to the event. In order to secure a reservation, you must submit a statement with your initial e-mail. Please include this statement in the body of your email. This one-page statement should consist of three things: (1) your contact information, (2) your professional biography (one paragraph only, written in the third person) and (3) a brief directorial statement describing your aesthetic and the kind of work that excites you. After we receive these materials, your reservation will be confirmed. Then, prior to the event, you will receive statements from all the dramatists as well as statements from the other attending directors.

There is no fee to attend this event. Drinks will be served!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Celebration of Sheldon Patinkin on January 26

Columbia College Theatre Department, Second City, and Steppenwolf Partner to Salute Beloved Director and Teacher

A celebration of the life of director-teacher Sheldon Patinkin will take place MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, located at 9501 Skokie Blvd. in the suburb of Skokie north of Chicago. The free event starts at 7:30 PM, with guest speakers reflecting on Mr. Patinkin's enormous impact on Chicago theatre. A reception with cash bar will follow the presentation. RSVPs are encouraged. For reservations, please call 312-369-6333 to leave a message or respond via eventbrite.

The event is presented jointly by the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and The Second City -- three organizations with which Mr. Patinkin had close professional and personal ties for decades.

Sheldon Patinkin was Chair of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department from 1980 to 2009, when he assumed the title of Chair Emeritus, continuing to teach and direct at the College until his death. He was an Artistic Consultant at Steppenwolf Theatre and co-founder of The School at Steppenwolf, and taught at The School for 17 years. And he was an original member of Second City from the company's beginnings -- when it was founded in 1959 by Bernard Sahlins, Paul Sills, and Howard Alk. He served as Sills' assistant director and then succeeded Sills as artistic director of the groundbreaking comedy theatre, eventually becoming an Artistic Consultant there.

Born in Chicago on August 27, 1935, Mr. Patinkin died September 21, 2014, following a heart attack. He was an integral figure in the development of a professional, grassroots Chicago theatre scene starting in the 1950s, when he was part of the talented young group of artists who created the Playwrights Theatre Club, Compass Players, and The Second City. He directed some of Chicago theatre's most memorable productions, including the commercial Chicago premieres of several Off-Broadway hits as well as productions at Steppenwolf, The Second City, Gift Theatre, City Lit Theater, National Jewish Theatre, and other Chicago-area companies. During his tenure as Chair, the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department educated hundreds of students who have gone on to distinguished careers in theatre, film, and television; he also mentored alumni who went on to start their own theatre companies. His books include Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater (Sourcebooks, 2000) and "No Legs, No Jokes, No Chance": A History of the American Musical Theater (Northwestern University Press, 2008). In that book, he wrote:

"We live in a time when, more and more, the response to trouble is violence; when too many individual communities have become too insular for the good of the larger community; when too much beyond one's immediate world seems to exist either to be feared to taken advantage of; when too many people try not to feel deeply or try to disguise their feelings with catch phrases, crudeness, inarticulateness, and sentimentality. It is one of the most important functions of both art and entertainment to help us transcend such times, sometimes by helping us to think things through, sometimes by helping us not to think at all."

"Sheldon was an artist, a scholar and a dear friend. He was a mentor to multiple generations and a productive and prolific leader of the Chicago theatre community until his final days. We look forward to celebrating his extraordinary life and career," said Andrew Alexander, CEO and Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc.

“Sheldon has been a part of the Steppenwolf family from the earliest days of our existence," said Martha Lavey, Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. "He was an artist, a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. The School at Steppenwolf will always be a part of Sheldon’s legacy. His influence lives on in the work of several generations of theatre artists.”

"At Columbia College we encourage our students to 'live what you love,' and Sheldon personified that ideal every day -- in every aspect of his teaching, directing, and mentorship," said John Green, Mr. Patinkin's successor as Chair of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department. "Like George in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George, he awoke students to the many possibilities of their lives as theatre artists, and the extension of those lives out into the community he loved and served so well."

Shortly before his death, Mr. Patinkin established the Sheldon Patinkin Endowed Award at Columbia College Chicago, which will give an outstanding graduating Theatre student a cash stipend to aid in his/her journey toward a professional career. For more information or to make a donation, go to

Celebration of the life of Sheldon Patinkin
MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015, 7:30 PM
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
RSVP: call 312-369-6333 or respond via eventbrite: