Hamilton theatre companies Industry and Porch Light Theatre are launching The Garden Project, an initiative to support local Black, Indigenous, and POC performance makers.

Artists in The Garden Project will be given ‘seed’ money to help them develop new work during this time when many performing artists are unable to work due to the restrictions put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to micro-grant style funds, participating artists will also be paired with a mentor of their choosing to support them during their creation process.

“We are aware that Hamilton has not always felt like a friendly place for artists of colour in both the distribution and programming of our work and the compensation. We want to buck that trend and make Hamilton feel like an artistic home,” says Aaron Jan, co-founder of Porch Light Theatre. “We’re calling it The Garden Project because we’re ‘growing’ a community of professional work with ‘seed money’. We are arming BIPOC creators with money that will pay for a month of subsistence–the equivalent of one month of CERB payments–so they can focus entirely on making art. This to us is a radical first step in creating equity in the city’s cultural scene.”

Industry and Porch Light Theatre are relying on donations from the community to meet their goal of $13,750, which will allow them to commission four artists and pay their mentors, program consultants, and jurors. $7,000 has been raised so far, making it possible to secure the first artist in The Garden Project, award-winning playwright Radha Menon.

Additional artists will be chosen by a jury including Aaron Jan, Karen Ancheta, Jessica Lea Fleming and Josh Taylor. BIPOC artists in any performance discipline and career-level are encouraged to apply with a brief sample of their work. The deadline for submissions is July 10th, 2020. 

For more information, applications, and to donate, please visit: industrypresents.com/garden-project

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