On August 3, Broadway Advocacy Coalition (BAC) announced the creation of the BAC Artivism Fellowship to support artist activists using their tools to have an impact on the world around them. The Fellowship will provide financial support, mentorship, networking opportunities, and education workshops. The inaugural class of fellows will specifically support Black, female-identifying artist activists focused on issues related to systemic racism and criminal justice reform and using narrative or stories in their work. Wicked is the lead sponsor of the new Fellowship, standing behind stories that create change and center women.
In addition, Playbill's newly announced Women in Theatre: A Centennial Celebration special event, hosted by Heidi Schreck and Rebecca Naomi Jones, will serve as a fundraiser for the fellowship.
Broadway Advocacy Coalition initially formed in 2016, and the necessity of its work has again come to the fore in the wake of the resurgence of the national Black Lives Mater movement and the confrontation of racist behavior throughout the theatrical industry. BAC is an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals and organizations to use storytelling to dismantle racism and the systems that perpetuate it.
“Black women have always been on the front lines leading the charge for social justice, human rights, and equality,” said BAC co-founder and star of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Adrienne Warren in a statement. “However, Black women are often left out of the narratives connected to those causes and rarely celebrated in moments of triumph. This fellowship is an opportunity to uplift, empower and support female-identifying artists of color, while centering those directly affected by systemic racism and inequality through BAC’s methodology. We are all served when a Black woman’s voice is amplified.”
Applications will be open to any female-identifying artists based in the United States. The fellowship will support 10 women over the course of six months, culminating in a digital presentation of their work. BAC leaders Amber Iman, Liza Jessie Peterson, Zakiyah Ansari, and Imani Mflame will serve on the nominating committee, with additional names to be announced.