The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President and CEO) announced via the live telecast of the Tony Awards on CBS, its new Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative.
This major new national initiative, which is being funded with a $1.3 million, three-year grant from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, will support theatre education opportunities for underserved young people and under-resourced public schools around the United States.
This project is an extension of the work that the multi-Tony Award winning composer and producer has been doing for years overseas, using his foundation to promote and fund arts education in the United Kingdom. It serves to both strengthen and expand the Wing’s core mission of nurturing the next generation of theatre makers and patrons.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative consists of three separate components:
- Classroom Resources: Through a grant-giving program, funding will be provided directly to under-resourced public schools to provide instruments, dance floors, lighting grids, and other necessary materials to help create new and enhance existing theatre programs.
- Extracurricular Training Scholarships: Funding will go towards covering the costs associated with sending select students to summer study and after school training programs.
- 4-Year Partial University Scholarships: Financial support will be provided to select students to pursue theatre studies at the University level.
“Tonight we celebrated a remarkably diverse and exciting season on Broadway,” Ms. Hitchens said in a statement. “Our partnership with Andrew on this initiative will help us ensure that the long term ecology of the theatre remains healthy, accessible, and inclusive.”
“I am passionate about the vital role of the arts in education,” Lord Lloyd Webber said. “Music is a universal language that knows no boundaries. My career started in schools with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which was premiered by a college in both Britain and the USA. This is why the story of School of Rock struck such a chord with me. Disgracefully the arts have too often borne the brunt of shortsighted cuts to educational budgets. I am thrilled my Foundation can join with the expertise of the American Theatre Wing to launch this initiative and provide resources to those who will benefit from them the most. However, it is vital that we keep this going for years to come and I call upon other successful musicians and theatre professionals to come forward and join this initiative. Together we can nurture the talent of the future and bring the empowering force of music and the arts to a new generation.”