Tony-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt has founded The 1/52 Project, a financial grant program offering $15,000 grants to early-career theatre designers.
The 1/52 Project—funded by currently working Broadway designers, who are encouraged to donate one week's royalties each year—hopes to encourage those from historically excluded groups in an effort to diversify and strengthen the Broadway design community.
Among the first to donate are Tony winner John Lee Beatty (Chicago), Tony winner Nevin Steinberg (Hamilton, Hadestown), Tony winner Jennifer Tipton (To Kill a Mockingbird), Tony nominee Jeff Sugg (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Tony Meola (Wicked), and Tony winner Jeff Croiter (Freestyle Love Supreme).
Applicants will be chosen based on talent, creativity, innovation, and potential for future excellence, with demonstrated financial need a determining factor. Applications, available in mid-January, will be accepted through May 15. Finalists will be notified July 1 and will be interviewed by the selection committee in August. Grant recipients will be announced on Labor Day. For more information visit OneEveryFiftyTwo.org.
The grant criteria have been created, and will be adjudicated, by a committee of BIPOC professional designers: Tony-nominated costume designer Dede Ayite, projection designer David Bengali, set designer Wilson Chin, lighting designer Allan Edwards, Tony-winning sound designer Kai Harada, set designer Kimie Nishikawa, Tony-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell, costume designer Alejo Vietti, and costume designer Anita Yavich.
Boritt says, “I always understood how lucky I was to work on Broadway, how tough it is to get that opportunity. But the past few years made clear to me what should probably have already been obvious, that part of my ‘good luck’ was being born a white boy. That simple fact opened doors for me. I hope this project can do a little to help support the careers of a more diverse group of designers.”
The 1/52 Project has partnered with TheFrontOffice Foundation, created by Director Wendy C. Goldberg in 2020 to support the theatrical community during the industry shutdown through artist relief, commissions, and grants.
The project is primarily funded by donations from working professional designers, but others are welcome to make a tax-deductible contribution by clicking here.