NEXT WAVE INITIATIVE
A statement from Douglas Lyons,
Founder and Director of the Next Wave Initiative:
Our nation is currently mourning, while simultaneously healing itself. In times like these I always look towards a solution; a way to pave a path towards America's future. The Next Wave Initiative allows the conversations around "Broadway equality" to become action. This program will fight to erase the ugliness of our past, while investing in the future of our profession.
The Next Wave Initiative is a developmental branch of The Directors Company, committed to amplifying future Black voices in The American Theatre.
Announcing the First Zoom Room!
On July 1st, at 7pm EST, NWI will host its first
Zoom-Room Series: "To Be Young, Gifted, Black...and Cast."
This 70 minute private discussion will feature an extraordinary panel including actress Carly Hughes ("American Housewife", Chicago), director Zhailon Levingston (Tina, Chicken and Biscuits), manager Harold Lewter of CLA Partners, and Mychael Chinn, recent executive producer of Lifetime's "The First Ladies of Gospel".
NWI's initial scholarships include The Lorraine Hansberry Writing Scholarship, The Spike Lee Directing Scholarship, The Hattie McDaniel Acting Scholarship, and The Alvin Ailey Dance Scholarship. Developmental and outreach programs include The First Burp Grant and The James Baldwin Group.
In just 10 days since launching, the Next Wave Initiative has grossed over $15,000 towards its mission. Lyons says, "Our nation is currently mourning, while simultaneously healing itself. In times like these I always look towards a solution, a way to pave a path towards America's future. The Next Wave Initiative allows the conversations around 'Broadway equality' to become action. This program will fight to erase the ugliness of our past, while investing in the future of our profession.”
The "young, gifted, Black...and cast" Zoom room is free for any current African-American High-school or College students. The encouraged donation for Adults is $5.00 towards the Next Wave Initiative.
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AWARDS and SCHOLARSHIPS
The Lorraine Hansberry Writing Scholarship
A scholarship payment of $1,959 honoring 1959, the year Lorraine Hansberry made history as the first African-American playwright to debut on Broadway with A Raisin in The Sun. This scholarship is granted to a promising Black artist pursuing a career in Literature, Creative writing, Theatre or Screenplay writing.
The Spike Lee Directing Scholarship
A scholarship payment of $1,986 honoring 1986, the year Spike Lee made his directorial debut with She's Gotta Have It. This scholarship is granted to a promising Black artist pursuing a collegiate education in direction for stage or screen.
The Hattie McDaniel Acting Scholarship
A scholarship payment of $1,940 honoring 1940, the year Hattie McDaniel became the first Black actor to win an Oscar award for her performance in Gone with The Wind. This scholarship is granted to a Black actor/actress pursuing theatre or film acting on the collegiate level.
The Alvin Ailey Dance Scholarship
A scholarship payment of $1,958 honoring 1958, the year Ailey founded his Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This scholarship is granted to a Black artist pursuing dance on the collegiate level.
The First Burp Grant- This grant is awarded to a new play or musical written by a Black artist that has yet to be produced. The grant of $1,000 goes directly towards funding the first 29 Hour reading presentation of said new work.
The James Baldwin Group a partnership between Black youth ages 12-18 and Black Broadway performers using poetry, art, dance, and writing as a means of healing.