Announcing the 2021-22 NET/TEN Exchange Grant Recipients

Network of Ensemble Theaters

2021-22 Exchange Grant

April 07, 2022

  • #Exchange Grants

We are pleased to announce the 2021-22 NET/TEN Exchange Grant Recipients!

Farm Arts Collective (Damascus, PA) and Clear Creek Creative (Disputanta, KY) will host one another's ecologically-inspired performance work and learn in-person and virtually about each others’ non-conventional models as rural ensembles. Farm Arts Collective will host Clear Creek Creative’s performance of Ezell Ballad of a Land Man, while Clear Creek Creative will host Farm Arts’ Decompositions, complete with local artists, fresh farm food, and reflective community feedback.

North American Cultural Laboratory (Highland Lake, NY) and ¡Oye! Group (Brooklyn, NY) will share administrative and operational strategies for organizational health and growth, and for supporting artists in developing new work while facilitating an authentic cultural exchange between artists and audiences. Through three artist residencies, the companies will investigate the meeting between urban Latine artists and a rural, majority-white, English-speaking audience, while also seeking to forge connections with Latine communities in Sullivan County. The project will result in a cultural/community engagement model that prioritizes meaningful exchange for audiences and is aligned with artist needs in early-stage new work development.

Notch Theatre Company (New York, NY) and Boys, Girls, Adults, Community Development Center (Marvell, AR) will collaborate on a performance, storytelling, and placemaking tour based on BLACK CYPRESS: a phillips county survival guide, a communally-authored book from the Black communities of the Arkansas Delta. Six community authors will create live performances based on their contributions to the book, providing the groundwork to reframe the cultural narrative surrounding Black life, community, and history in the Arkansas Delta.

Spectrum Theatre Ensemble (Providence, RI), Die-Cast Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), and EPIC Players (Brooklyn, NY) will present the third Neurodiversity New Play Festival (NNFP), a 10-minute-play festival that encourages neurodiverse collaboration and elevates neurodivergent voices and characters. This collaboration will allow NNFP to present multiple full-length productions of new work by neurodivergent playwrights.

Ping Chong + Company (New York, NY) will provide comprehensive advice, feedback, and support in the evolution of The Great American Gunshow, a performance and community conversation surrounding gun violence and trauma by Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (Philadelphia, PA). In exchange, TSPC will provide PC+C with training in their approach to collaborative leadership, values-centered administrative practices, deep anti-bias exploration, and a nourishment and health-centered approach to administration and art-making. The collaboration will deepen the intergenerational exchange between Ping Chong and Team Sunshine’s Makoto Hirano—two Asian-American artists—to continue conversations about the complexities of art-making and a life in the arts, and reflect on longevity, long-term collaboration, and self-identity within a majority white-led field.

The Anthropologists (New York, NY) and the National Women's Theatre Festival (Raleigh, NC) will engage in a year-long, peer-to-peer mentorship to build administrative and artistic capacity. NWTF will provide business and administrative support, sharing tools for radical financial transparency and models for healthy financial practices. The Anthropologists will offer tools and techniques for devising and non-hierarchical artistic exploration, building consensus, and creative problem solving. These tools will be put into action as NWTF workshops their original theatre piece The Momversations Project in Summer 2022, in preparation for a world premiere production and digital release.

The In[HEIR]itance Project (New York, NY) and Hands United Building Bridges (Norfolk, VA), a collaborative of diverse religious leaders, will deepen their mutual understanding of the complex racial dynamics in the area of Hampton Roads, VA, by bringing together community partners in a participatory playmaking process that fuses research, creative writing workshops, and facilitated community conversations. The finished, collaboratively created play will be presented at the historic Attucks Theatre in Norfolk as part of the 2022 Virginia Arts Festival.

Vagabond Inventions (New Orleans, LA) and Mariah Rankine-Landers (Oakland, CA) will develop The Crying Room, a community healing space offered as a trauma-informed resource for the audience attending the premiere of Vagabond Inventions’ stage production, Requiem for a Stranger. The artists will explore touring the works together, each exploring the public processing of overwhelm and grief.

zAmya Theater Project (Minneapolis, MN), PlaceBase Productions (Granite Falls, MN), and Oasis Central Minnesota (Little Falls, MN) will collaborate on a community engagement process toward an expansion and adaptation of A Prairie Homeless Companion.  Originally produced in 2019 by zAmya and PlaceBase, the satirical, community-engaged performance uses the framework of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion to combat stereotypes and  feature stories of people experiencing housing insecurity in rural Minnesota. Through story circles and feedback sessions, zAmya, Oasis, and PlaceBase will share ideas for bringing the project to Little Falls including the live performance and a follow-up, community-created “Real NewZ” podcast to continue the conversation about housing justice.

The peer panelists for the 2021-22 NET/TEN Exchange Grants included: Sherrine Azab, Co-Director, A Host of People (Detroit, MI); Travis Coe, Associate Artistic Director, Double Edge Theatre (Ashfield, MA); Elizabeth Colón-Nelson, Independent Artist (Louisville, KY); Arianna Gass, Worker-Owner, Obvious Agency (Philadelphia, PA); Paul Kruse, Co-Founder and Resident Playwright, Hatch Arts (Pittsburgh, PA).

NET's Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN) grant program is supported in 2021-22 by lead funding from the Mellon Foundation.