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Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Vanguard Arts Fund Request for Proposals 2023-2024


Deadline: May 12, 2023

Vanguard Arts Fund applications are now open for Olney Theatre Center’s 2023-24 season. The Vanguard Arts Fund provides development support to diverse teams of artists interested in creating works - especially works that cross artistic disciplines - in a collaborative environment. From the seed of an idea for a new play, to a concept for a classic adaptation, to a first draft or first song of a musical, we provide intensive workshop time at various stages of the development process. We commit to these artistic teams in hopes of producing their work at Olney Theatre Center in a future season.

The Vanguard Arts Fund was launched in 2017 with a $350,000 endowment gift from the Eugene B. Casey Foundation; the Fund’s success in developing shows we’ve gone on to produce prompted the Foundation to add $1 million to the endowment in 2022.
What kind of projects are we looking for?

While OTC will consider text-based work that springs from the mind of a singular playwright, successful proposals for new work will more likely bring together more than one generative artist in an interdisciplinary fashion to explore new or classic stories. So, a director and videographer working on an off-beat immersive experience, or workshopping a new musical, or a number of designers or actors coming together with a playwright to devise something, or a playwright and director working jointly to create something, or a composer working with a bunch of musicians and a choreographer on an idea all are examples of exciting proposals. Directors, actors, playwrights, designers, stage managers - we want to hear from anyone with a great idea and a great plan to pursue their artistic visions.

We are committed to ensuring the majority of projects we fund are led by BIPOC generative artists, and intend to support at least one BIPOC-created musical each year.

At this time, we are only able to consider artists based in the United States.


Please send the following information as a single pdf to hallie@olneytheatre.org. We are accepting applications until May 12, 2023, and announcements will be made in June. Please include the following in your application: 
  • Project point of contact information (pronouns, email, phone number, city/state)
  • In 1-2 pages: About the Project
  • Point of View
  • At what stage of development is this project currently, and what is the project’s development history? 
  • In up to 1 page: What are your goals for a Vanguard Arts Fund workshop? How will this workshop support the development of this project?
  • How much time do you think you need to explore this project? 
  • The names and bios of the artists/collaborators involved in this project
  • Number of performers or other types of artists needed for a workshop (if known)
Any supporting materials (script drafts, song recordings, synopsis, orchestration, etc.)

How large are the support budgets for VAF projects?

Support for projects in the past has ranged from $2,500 to $15,000. However, support of up to $25,000 will be considered.

When do you need this and what’s the selection process?
This is the first year we are opening up the application process nationally. We are asking you to send proposals by May 12, 2023. Our selection process will be internal, with OTC’s full-time artistic staff. We’re going to aim to decide by June 30, 2023. Which will give us time to review, and ask questions if needed.

I have more questions.
Write to me, Hallie@olneytheatre.org

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