Every show you have seen, read, listened to, shared, and loved all began with a blank piece of paper. The struggle of filling that paper is something we can all relate to. Thankfully, the thousands of writers every year that interact with the Dramatists Guild Foundation have found ways to push through that doubt. They have inspired me and our whole team to take bold steps to better serve our community across the United States.
Personally, I faced the blank page, paper after paper while pursuing my Masters in Nonprofit Management at Columbia. I am proud to share with all of you that I graduated this year, and could not be more excited to be putting my new skills to use for DGF.
The last year and a half has been full of new beginnings. We have welcomed new staff and Board members, ushered in a new program, and expanded our outreach to writers in exciting ways. First, our Traveling Masters, supported by Roe Green and the Roe Green Foundation, has now reached writers and students in nearly all 50 states – we will reach this goal by the end of 2019!
We launched the New Voices program last year and have now expanded into a new school, doubling the number of 4th grade students we have helped find their unique voices. The program is already receiving generous support to help it grow, including a grant from the Maurer Family Foundation that supports formal evaluation of our curriculum to improve our efficacy and ensure that young students are receiving the best playwriting education possible.
In December 2018, we received an incredibly generous gift from the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation for $2 million in support of our Fellows program and Emergency Grants. The Fellows program continues to be a leading entity in identifying and elevating the most promising voices of the future, with former Fellows like Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Michael R. Jackson, Antoinette Nwandu, Lauren Yee, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and others making tremendous waves in the community with their groundbreaking work. We also awarded the inaugural Stephen Schwartz Award to former Fellow Oliver Houser. Thank you, Stephen!
We have worked to grow our community, reaching out to several luminaries of the stage who have become wonderful allies of DGF and our mission. In March, we were joined by legends Judith Light and Tony Kushner, who we awarded the Madge Evans and Sidney Kingsley Awards for Excellence in Theater. We also had the distinct honor of being joined by Hadestown composer, lyricist, and bookwriter Anaïs Mitchell for a Salon in June, just days before she and the production won eight Tony Awards. As these individuals inspired us with their commitment to the preservation and continuation of the craft, so did many of you by joining DGF’s new The Write Stuff Society. Thanks to our newly hired Development Director Mady Schuman and our Development Manager Jamie Balsai, The Write Stuff Society brings together our most dedicated supporters from all backgrounds.
Please click here and take at the Donor Impact Report to learn more about our programs and see first hand how your support is creating exponential benefit to the lives of writers across the country. Educational programs, free space, and awards, grants and stipends that you help fund are having a huge impact on writers at all stages of their careers. Those programs, and all of the wonderful milestones we have hit this year, are all because of you. Just as writers inspire us to challenge ourselves and reach toward a more beautiful future, you too inspire us to thrive in our mission every day.