Mentorship & Leadership Initiative

FY16 Summer MLI Awards

Rachel Cook at DiverseWorks (Houston) with PICA (Portland, OR) and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis)
Interdisciplinary Performance Curating and Presentation
This project is designed to provide peer-to-peer mentorship exchanges between DiverseWorks and two other NPN Partners, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and Walker Art Center, in order to exchange best practices and methodologies for effectively commissioning and presenting interdisciplinary performance. These three organizations all commission and present visual, performing, and multidisciplinary art. This winter, DiverseWorks is planning a move to a new multi-tenant arts facility featuring four theaters, a gallery, rehearsal space, and areas for outdoor programming. An MLI exchange at this time will help Associate Curator Rachel Cook consider the ramifications of this move on the types of art DiverseWorks will now be able to program, as well as the needs and desires of new audiences. For DiverseWorks, it will be incredibly useful to learn how these two significantly larger institutions conceptually and pragmatically deal with the artistic, programmatic, and collaborative challenges of working across disciplines.
NPN Subsidy: $5000

Alejandra (Tobar Alatriz) at Pangea World Theater (Minneapolis) with Junebug Productions (New Orleans) and Carpetbag Theater (Knoxville)
Enhancing Pangea’s Community Engagement Capacity
This project will support the participants professional development as artist-administrators, who all work with multiple communities in creative placemaking activities, by allowing them to participate in learnings and peer-to-peer exchanges with theater companies across the country. Alejandra (Tobar Alatriz will attend the NPN/VAN and ROOTS annual meetings, which will enhance her networking and leadership skills and expand her knowledge of the field.
NPN Subsidy: $4000

Wesley V. Montgomery MLI Award for Emerging Leaders of Color
Frederick Delahoussaye at Ashé Cultural Arts Center (New Orleans)
Attending Black Child Development Conference
This project will support leadership development (and program development) in Ashé Cultural Arts Center’s Kuumba Institute Program Cultural Co-Director, Frederick Delahoussaye, by sending him to the 45th annual National Black Child Development Institute conference. Integration of the latest research on Black Child development into his work (and the program) will enhance cultural support and services for our predominantly African American youth.
NPN Subsidy: $3000

Tanya Mote at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center (Denver)
with Caron Atlas, Director, Arts and Democracy and Co-Director, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts and Rosalba Rolon, Artistic Director, Pregones Theater (Bronx)
This project will support Su Teatro’s Associate Director Tanya Mote in developing the skills and savvy to advocate and fundraise at the national level. Activities include the development of a complete book manuscript to submit for publication; research, development and writing of three articles for the field; and an intensive tutorial on building relationships with national funders.
NPN Subsidy: $3800

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FY15 Winter MLI Awards

Intermedia Arts — Minneapolis, MN
Title: Developing Collaborative Leadership Capacity for Equity-Based Curatorial Models
Nastalie Bogira, production and events manager at Intermedia Arts, will develop capacity for collaborative leadership and curating to building performing arts programming with a diverse group of artists and advisors. Intermedia Arts is examining its curatorial model in relationship to racial and cultural equity. At the center of this development is a need and desire to build understanding around racial justice and white privilege along with a need to have conversations about these issues within the performing arts field. To support this commitment, Intermedia Arts will invest in Nastalie by providing opportunities to develop skills in order to build knowledge, awareness, and relationships to support this work.
NPN Subsidy: $4,000

Junebug Productions, Inc. — New Orleans, LA
Title: Place Matters
Junebug Productions and Dance Place (Washington, DC) are each in various stages of partnership with Artspace, a developer of affordable work and living space for artists. Many lessons can be shared along this journey. Junebug’s staff seeks to learn from Dance Place’s thirty-three years of experience in creating, managing and operating non-profit arts facilities as it collaborates with Artspace in the development of the Bell School Project in New Orleans.
NPN Subsidy: $4,500

The Theater Offensive — Boston, MA
Title: Building Capacity for Culturally Competent Supervision around Diversity and Inclusion
This project will engage Adrian Budhu, current managing director at The Theater Offensive, in a mentorship with Robin Vann Ricca, a leader in the field of culturally competent human resources and a specialist in diversity and inclusion. Adrian will learn from Robin best practices in creating a diversity and inclusion plan and build his – and TTO’s – capacity in this area.
NPN Subsidy: $5,000

FY15 Summer MLI Awards

Columbia College Chicago Center for Community Arts Partnerships— Chicago, IL
Title: Columbia College CCAP Staff Mentoring & Development
Description: Katie Collins, CCAP’s Urban Missions Coordinator, will develop her skills and knowledge as an emerging leader in the field of community arts through mentoring, networking, and site visits to learn more about best practices of performing arts residencies and program development. She will engage in mentorship meetings with Roell Schmidt of Links Hall, conduct a site visit with NPN partner Intermedia Arts, and attend the NPN Annual Meeting and the NPN Regional Meeting.
NPN Subsidy: $3,500

Dance PlaceWashington, DC
Title: Curation Across the Nation
Description: This project will allow staff member, Sarah Kramer, to take advantage of professional development conferences and festivals, specifically the National Performance Network’s annual conference and the Fusebox Festival. Both will give her more confidence in her curatorial practice and expand her networking, especially as Dance Place is in its early stages of a succession plan.
NPN Subsidy: $2,500

Wesley V. Montgomery MLI Award for Emerging Leaders of Color
Skirball Cultural CenterLos Angeles CA
Title:Leadership Development in Music Presenting
Description: This project will facilitate the development of Daniel Soto as he transitions into a new role as program coordinator. Through ongoing contact with music presenters at sister organizations and through attendance at the APAP and SXSW conferences, he will strengthen his skills in program planning, learn best practices in the field, and become exposed to an expanded network of peers and emerging artists.
NPN Subsidy: $4,700

Tigertail ProductionsMiami FL
Title: Professional Development
Description: 2014-2015 marks Tigertail’s 35th season. This proposal is focused on a young Miami arts leader within Tigertail – Marissa Alma Nick. Marissa is currently the Director of Tigertail’s ScreenDance Miami. To secure the future of the organization, Director and Founder Mary Luft is in process of identifying and training young arts leaders, such as Marissa, to take over existing projects of the organization. Mary will work with Marissa on a weekly basis from September 2014-June 2015. She will pass on to Marissa a 35-year body of information on dance and programming.
NPN Subsidy: $4,700

FY14 Winter MLI Awards

Pangea World Theater — Minneapolis, MN
Title: Unique Solutions to Space
Description: Through mentoring by Gayle Isa from Asian Arts Initiative, and additional guidance from Kelley Lindquist, Meena Natarajan and Dipankar Mukherjee will research the creative solutions other arts organizations discovered when faced with challenges of space. This mentorship marks a stage in a unique feasibility study as Pangea World Theater strategizes a way to procure a space of its own.
NPN Subsidy: $4,500

Wesley V. Montgomery MLI Award for Emerging Leaders of Color
The Theater Offensive — Boston, MA
Title: Queer Latino Artistic Leadership and Mentorship
Description: This project will develop the relationship between Nick Bazo, TTO’s director of True Colors and assistant director of programs, and artist and director Octavio Campos of Camposition Inc. Through shadowing, coaching, and feedback, Nick will learn from Octavio new methodologies of teaching and build relationships to take his place as an artistic leader and as a superb mentor to True Colors youth.
NPN Subsidy:  $4000

The Yard — Chilmark, MA
Title: Animate your community: “Making It” happen through the classroom
Jesse Keller, director of Island Programs & Education, will be mentored by master teacher Deborah Damast (NYU) and choreographer/Guggenheim Fellow David Parker in the development of a dance-making curriculum, “Making It,” which will be implemented over the next three years in the Martha’s Vineyard public/charter schools. The team will support Keller’s growth as an educator, administrator, and impactful community leader.
NPN Subsidy:  $4200

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FY14 Summer MLI Awards

Alverno Presents – Milwaukee, WI
Title:  Alverno Presents/PICA Peer Mentorship Exchange
Description: Marielle Allschwang will attend the annual NPN and APAP meetings with PICA’s Roya Amirsoleymani, another MLI recipient.  Through joint participation in discussion panels and small group conferences with mentor Erin Boberg Doughton (PICA), they will use an expanded scope of knowledge and experience in the arts ― along with mutual support and regular check-ins ― to organize and present their own panel events with their organizations.
NPN Subsidy: $1,700

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts – Burlington, VT
Title: Leadership Champlain Class of 2014
Description: Each year the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce selects 40 paticipants in the greater Burlington area to participate in the Leadership Champlain program.  The program consists of a two-day retreat in September, eight day-long seminars, and two group projects focused on community issues that are important to the participants.  The Flynn’s Madeline Bell will attend the Leadership program to learn more about community issues in the greater Burlington area, develop leadership skills through team-based learing and exposure to community leaders, and to grow a network of local peers and colleagues.
NPN Subsidy: $1,300

La Peña Cultural Center – Berkeley CA
Engaging Our Community, Building Our Future
Description: During a ten-month period newly appointed Executive Director Kristen Sbrogna will be mentored by retired Executive Director (now board president) Paul Chin, and former Development and Finance Director Manuel Alonso. This mentorship will allow for a smooth transition of knowledge and networks as La Peña continues to be a hub for arts and activism.
NPN Subsidy: $4,300

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) – Portland OR
Emerging Leaders
Description: With Marielle Allschwang, an emerging arts leader peer at Alverno Presents, Roya Amirsoleymani will attend the annual NPN meeting, New York performance festivals, and exchange with Alverno Presents to acquire greater exposure to new artistic work and strengthen skills in performance presenting and community engagement practice through mentoring sessions with Erin Doughton (PICA) and Rory Trainor (Alverno) and broader field learning.
NPN Subsidy: $3,000

Sandglass Center for Puppetry and Theater Research – Putney, VT
Tour Coordinator Mentorship
Description: Bill Menezes, consulting tour coordinator, will mentor Michael Hanish, new Sandglass projects coordinator, in the procedures, considerations, strategies, and methods of booking and coordinating a touring theater project and budgeting skills. This mentorship will support the applicant’s development as an administrator and leader within Sandglass by greatly expanding the in-house operations skill set.
NPN Subsidy: $4,300

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FY13 MLI Awards

Wesley V. Montgomery MLI Award for Emerging Leaders of Color
Painted Bride – Philadelphia, PA

Title: Extended Play: Painted Bride
Description: Painted Bride will develop a hands-on mentorship program with staff member LaNeshe Miller and Executive Director Laurel Raczka, which includes developing new interactive programs for younger audiences.
NPN Subsidy: $5000

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FY12 MLI Awards

Wesley V. Montgomery MLI Award for Emerging Leaders of Color
The Carpetbag Theatre Co.
Title: Succession Initiative
Description: The Carpetbag Theatre is developing a succession plan for a future change in leadership. Kelle Jolly will shadow Executive/Artistic Director Linda Parris-Bailey to gain experience in managing administrative duties, developing relationships with key partners and potential funders, and engaging with the ensemble process to insure the continuation and expansion of Carpetbag’s programs and projects.
NPN Subsidy: $5000

Read about additional Mentorship and Leadership Initiative awards from FY12 and FY13 on the MLI Awards from Prior Years page.

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Link to profiles of MLI and other NPN-subsidized projects

Past Issues