Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Receives Prestigious New York State REDC Grant to Support 2018 “Generation Next” Programming

The Festival will receive $75,000 for comprehensive job training programs for early-career actors, designers, technicians, and managers as part of the Regional Economic Development Council awards.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) has been awarded a $75,000 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Workforce Readiness Program grant to support HVSF Generation Next: Training Tomorrow’s Theater Professionals, a comprehensive job training program for up to 20 early-career actors, designers, technicians, and managers in 2018. The funding, distributed by the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) and announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, was one of three awards given to organizations in Putnam County and among 113 awards distributed to the Mid-Hudson Region broadly. The region was named a top performer by the REDC this year, garnering $84.4 Million for projects across seven counties in the Hudson Valley.

Generation Next is the second HVSF initiative to receive REDC funding in recent years. The program will play an essential role in preparing aspiring actors, production professionals, and administrators – including college interns and recent graduates – for careers in theater, creating a secure pathway to future employment. While most theater training programs are unpaid or charge tuition, HVSF’s training program pays an educational stipend and provides local housing, reducing barriers to employment in the arts for people in financial need.

“We are honored to be recognized by New York State and NYSCA as a part of the REDC CFA awards,” said HVSF Managing Director Kate Liberman. “This funding will allow the Festival to continue our ongoing commitment to supporting and developing the next generation of theater professionals in the Hudson Valley and beyond. We see this program as a pipeline for theater professionals across the nation.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell praised the job training initiative: “Programs like this make me really enjoy the opportunity to serve my county.”

Generation Next encompasses two parts: HVSF’s Conservatory Company, a five-month immersive program for early-career actors combining classes and rehearsal with physical, vocal, and imaginative exploration of Shakespeare’s text, and its Intern Company for rising designers, technicians, and managers. Intern Company members apprentice a specialized department based on their interests and skills, including stage, production, or company management, sound, lighting, costumes, marketing, education, or development. Together, Conservatory and Intern Company participants create their own production, which debuts under the HVSF Theater Tent in Garrison, NY and then tours to regional venues such as Storm King Art Center (New Windsor), SPACE on Ryder Farm (Brewster), Bannerman’s Island (Beacon), Safe Harbors (Newburgh), and the Hudson River Museum (Yonkers).

Participants are selected through a rigorous application process. To learn more about and apply for the 2018 Conservatory Company, click here. Submissions must be postmarked by December 31, 2017 and preliminary auditions will be scheduled for the week of January 22, 2018. To learn more about and apply for the 2018 Intern Company, click here. Production Intern submissions must be postmarked by January 31, 2018 and Administrative Intern submissions must be postmarked by February 28, 2018.

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