Albany Park Theater Project was awarded $500,000 between 2015 and 2017, including 3 grants in Chicago Commitment and MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions.

$50,000

2017 • 1 year

Albany Park Theater Project, founded in 1997, is a multi-ethnic youth theater ensemble that develops original plays about social justice issues based on the life experiences of its participants and their communities. The ensemble members live in Albany Park, a diverse community on Chicago’s northwest side, and trace their roots to more than 30 countries. With this International Connections Fund award, Albany Park Theater Project collaborates with a theater in the United Kingdom to examine the youth response to two national elections in 2016 with significant societal implications, specifically the “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States. Award funds will be used to support travel, lodging, stipends, supplies, programs, and events.

$50,000

2016 • 2 years • Chicago Commitment

Albany Park Theater Project, founded in 1997, is a multi-ethnic youth theater ensemble that develops original plays about social justice issues based on the life experiences of its participants and their communities. The ensemble members live in Albany Park, a diverse community on Chicago’s northwest side, and trace their roots to more than 30 countries. With this International Connections Fund award, Albany Park Theater Project collaborates with a theater company in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on an exchange exploring solidarity across borders in times of economic crisis. The joint project draws on an oral history process that highlights the stories of those living in austerity in Chicago and Puerto Rico. The exchange between theaters also provides opportunities for each company to gain skills in puppetry, making masks, taking testimonials, and other forms of collaborative production development. As a result of the exchange, each company will showcase the work-in-progress in its home community.

$400,000

2015 • 4 years • MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

Albany Park Theater Project, founded in 1997, is a multi-ethnic youth theater ensemble that develops original plays about social justice issues based on the life experiences of its participants and their communities. The ensemble consists of 35-40 teenage artists from Chicago Public Schools each year, who have created 19 original, evening length plays in total. The organization is known for the originality and high quality artistic work that its ensemble creates. The company reaches a diverse audience of 5,000-10,000 people per year. A MacArthur Award recognizes organizations that have excellent programs, that are well-managed, and that are at an inflection point, where they are likely to grow either in size or influence. Albany Park Theater Project will allocate most of the funds to a board designated operating reserve and opportunity fund; a smaller portion will be used to develop and implement a strategic plan.

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