The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Gives $4.1 Million to Support 41 NYC Theater Organizations

New York, July 2, 2015—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced today that 41 organizations in its New York Theater Program will receive grants totaling $4.1 million. Ranging from $10,000 to $160,000, the grants will be used toward operating support over the next two years.

A stalwart supporter of theater, the Mellon Foundation established the New York Theater Program in 1997. It supports development and presentation of work by small and midsized theater producers, presenters, development labs, and ensembles.

"The New York Theater Program recognizes the outsized influence of the city's small and midsized nonprofit theater organizations on the development and dissemination of new repertoire both locally and across the US," said Mellon Foundation program officer Susan Feder. "They develop and produce a broadly diverse array of new plays, cultivate playwrights and other theater makers, experiment with new technologies and multidisciplinary forms, present important revivals and translations, and are risk takers in the extremely competitive environment of theater in New York City."

"The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has taken the lead in identifying a crucial sector that needs focused funding and support," said Virginia Louloudes, Executive Director of Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York.  "The work developed and nurtured by these companies will have a profound impact on the art form and many of the plays developed by these groups will be produced across the country and around the world."

 The 41 organizations in the current round of funding were chosen following a review of more than 100 New York City nonprofit theater organizations in 2014. They represent a mixture of vibrant venerable institutions and fresh voices from a new generation of theater, each with annual budgets between $75,000 and $3.5 million. Women lead about half of the organizations, and 25 percent have leaders of color. Fourteen focus primarily on social justice or on artists and communities of color, women, and people with disabilities, making them crucial contributors to the vitality, relevance, and accessibility of the performing arts sector in New York and beyond.

The organizations serve a wide range of cultural communities across New York City and cover a diversity of artistic approaches, including:

  • producing theaters that have been dedicated to the production of new work and emerging artists for the past 20 to 40 years and have recently broadened their programming to further their impact;
  • highly regarded presenters of experimental theater with traditions of bringing challenging, boundary-breaking projects to the stage, both in their own seasons, and through collaborations with other organizations;
  • incubators that provide a range of critical resources needed from residency and workshop programs, opportunities for readings, and developmental intensives;
  • ensembles and artist-led companies that also develop, direct, and produce works of other artists.

Below is the full list of recipients:


About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.