Teresa’s Weekly Update: Talking Turkey

by Teresa Eyring

in Weekly Update

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I want to give thanks to all of you who participated in our recent Field Conversations, which explored the relationships between artists and institutions. The goal of the Conversations was to hear success stories, as well as gather suggestions for strengthening these relationships so that our field becomes stronger overall. Meetings were held in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and followed a series of artists’ teleconferences that convened a geographically diverse range of practitioners last spring. This month, we will launch an Artist Survey in order to begin building a body of research that deals with issues relating to artistry and artists’ lives, which will complement the rich collection of data captured by our annual Fiscal Survey. In the new year, we will ask theatres from across the country to host “salons” that will convene artists in their communities for discussions about how organizations and individual artists can fortify their ties. We are hearing so many positive stories and a strong desire among both artists and organizations to find new ways of communicating, collaborating and sharing resources—and of course, many suggestions about how TCG can help!

In these meetings, I was deeply inspired by the coming together of some of our field’s longtime luminaries with younger and mid-career practitioners. In fact, my own first mentor in professional theatre, Howard Shalwitz (artistic director of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and my first employer out of college), participated in one of the Conversations. We were also able to include a number of the New Generations Program recipients. The gatherings reminded me of the simple but powerful ways that our TCG community passes on and shares its knowledge and support. A full report will be circulated in the spring.

I have a few dates for your calendars specifically dealing with international opportunities:

  • December 13: TCG will offer a Leadership Teleconference: Navigating the Visa Process for Artists from Abroad to demystify the visa petition process for engaging international artists. Please join Jonathan Ginsburg, immigration attorney and author of the visa section of artistsfromabroad.org, and his colleagues from FTM Arts Law for this practical and informative presentation. The registration deadline is 1pm (ET) on Friday, December 10. The cost is $35/phone line for TCG member theatres and university affiliates and $50/phone line for non-members.
  • December 20: Applications for the first cycle of the Global Connections program are due on December 20. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this program offers funding in two different categories: On the Road travel grants of up to $6,000 each and In the Lab project development grants of $10,000 each. These grants support geographically unrestricted travel to foster international collaborations between U.S.-based artists and their colleagues from around the world.
  • William Yellowrobe

    I would like to see this conversation include Native American Indian artists and communities, not just the so-called representatives of Native American Indian artists and communities, but the real folks themselves. To many fake representatives out there, but it would be nice to hear from the recognized Native American Indian artists, theaters, and organizations.