Sunday, April 21, 2019

TYA/USA’s Ann Shaw Fellowship: an Opportunity to Explore, Expand, Discover, or Create

Hello, NEXT Bloggers.  Elissa Adams, here.  I’m the Director of New Play Development at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis.  I’m also a new TYA/USA Board Member and Co-Chair, with the fabulous Gillian McNally, of this year’s Ann Shaw Fellowship selection committee.

The deadline to apply for the Fellowship is JANUARY 10, 2011.

Applications can be obtained by emailing a request to

Given that the deadline comes just as we’ll all be recovering from holiday fun, holiday travel, end-of-the-semester crunches or the mounting of large or small-scale holiday-themed productions, Gillian and I just wanted to encourage you all to think about what the Fellowship might mean to you in terms of an opportunity to grow creatively and professionally.  Is there an artist, a company, a festival, a type of theatre that you are curious about?  That, if you had the opportunity to visit with and learn from, would enrich and enliven you as an artist?  Places or people with experience or perspective that you feel would enrich and enliven the organization you work for?  If so, we encourage you to get to work—put together a proposal, craft a budget, make contact with the artists or organizations you’d like to work with and APPLY FOR THE ANN SHAW FELLOWSHIP!

Here’s the scoop:

About the Ann Shaw FellowshipIn 1996, TYA/USA (then called ASSITEJ/USA) created a fund to support career development opportunities for theatre artists and administrators committed to Theatre for Young Audiences. This program was renamed in 2003 as the Ann Shaw Fellowship in recognition of Ann Shaw’s visionary leadership and tireless efforts to support individual career development of TYA professionals.Since its inception, the Ann Shaw Fellowship has provided funds to assist more than 39 individuals with travel to theatres and festivals throughout the United States and abroad for viewing outstanding work and exploring challenging questions related to the field of TYA.

In addition to maintaining support for attendance and participation in national and regional festivals and events, fellowship support may be requested to support:

Extended visits with a single host theatre
Mentorship opportunities
Innovative collaborations
Pursuit of a driving question or issue in the field of TYA

Ann Shaw Fellowships are not limited to projects with TYA companies. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects and opportunities with any person, institution or organization that will challenge, support and enrich the applicant’s own professional development in the field of TYA.


Here’s some more scoop:

An average of three grants per year, in an amount usually no greater than $2000.00, is awarded.  People at all stages of their career are encouraged to apply.

The strongest proposals will be those where the applicant can display the passionate thinking, serious intent and go-getter gumption to follow-through with their proposed plan. Demonstrate that you have already had some conversations with the artists or organization you are proposing visiting.  Have some real timelines in place.  Think specifically about how the money will be spent.

In past years, The Ann Shaw Committee has requested that people interested in applying vet their proposals with the Committee Chair prior to the deadline.  This is NOT necessary this year.  Please simply download the application, do your work to create a clear and well thought-out proposal and submit it by the deadline.

However,  I am available and happy to chat with you if you would like some feedback before you apply.  I can be reached at

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