Saturday, October 21, 2017

TYA/USA’s Ann Shaw Fellowship: Why we named the fellowship after Ann Shaw

Who is Ann Shaw and why was the Fellowship named after her?

While many in our field already know her well, I wanted to make sure everyone knew about her amazing leadership in our field:

Ann Shaw began  as a creative drama specialist for the Evanston Public Schools over four decades ago.  She has distinguished herself as writer, speaker, researcher, consultant and program developer, college and university teacher.  But mostly she is known to us as an extraordinary international organizer.

In 1965 Dr. Ann Shaw traveled to Paris as a U.S. delegate to the first ASSITEJ Constitutional Congress.  She continued active participation with the U.S. Center for ASSITEJ, a committee first of the Children’s Theatre Conference which later became the Children’s Theatre Association of America, a division of the American Theatre Association.  In 1981 she founded ASSITEJ/USA, an independent organization to serve professional theatres for young people.

She founded the Pacific Rim Artists Exchange in 1982, and the Mexico/USA Exchange in 1985.  Within the past two years she designed a model for ASSITEJ/USA Regional Conferences, and founded the ASSITEJ/USA Observership Program which provides travel grants to members.

Ann Shaw was also instrumental in organizing Drama and Theatre By, With and For Handicapped Individuals as a committee of the American Theatre Association.  Now it is the Association for Theatre and Accessibility.  She is the 1997 recipient of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Medallion Award.

Michael Fitzgerald, World President of ASSITEJ International reported that Dr. Shaw is “one of the great stalwarts of the ASSITEJ movement with a passionate belief in and a lifelong commitment to arts experiences for young people in the interests of peace and education of future generations.”

Designated by the ASSITEJ USA Board of Directors “Founding President, Driving Force, Creative Inspiration,” Ann M. Shaw serves as a model for all who aspire to lead the growing field of theatre for young people into the twenty-first century.

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