The 1/52 Project has opened applications to early career designers for this year's grants. With $100,000 in grants available for distribution, the program founded by Tony-winning deisgner Beowulf Boritt and funded largely by Broadway designers will accept submissions through May 15.
With a mission to foster early career designers from historically excluded groups, the initiative seeks to diversify and strengthen the design community on Broadway. Recipients of grants will be selected on the basis of talent, creativity, innovation, and potential for future excellence in professional theatre.
Serving on this year's selection committee will be projection designer David Bengali, lighting designer Amith Chandrashaker, lighting designer Jiyoun Chang, set designer Wilson Chin, lighting designer Alan C. Edwards, sound designer Justin Ellington, sound designer Kai Harada, set designer Rachel Hauck, costume designer Toni Leslie James, hair and wig designer Cookie Jordan, sound designer Sun Hee Kil, projection designer Hana S. Kim, hair and wig designer Nikiya Mathis, projection designer Elaine McCarthy, set designer Kimie Nishikawa, costume designer Alejo Vietti, and costume designer Anita Yavich. Production manager Bethany Weinstein Stewart as well as designers Simon Harding, Jeff Croiter, Elaine J. McCarthy, Nevin Steinberg, Rachel Hauck, and Jeff Sugg, also help manage The 1/52 Project as volunteers.
Contributors this year so far include the entire design team of The Piano Lesson, and early donations from designers including Tony winner Julie Taymor (The Lion King), Tony winner Richard Hudson (The Lion King), Nevin Steinberg (Hamilton), Tyler Miccoleau (The Band's Visit), Emmy winner David Korins (Hamilton), and Drama Desk winner Tony Meola (Wicked). Another early contributor is director and author James Lapine.
Last year's inaugural recipients who received individual grants up to $15,000 were projection designer Brittany Bland, sound designer Everett Elton Bradman, projection designer Stefania Bulbarella, set designer Jessica Alexandra Cancino, costume designer Frank Cazares, sound designer Jordan McCree, and costume designer Jingyi Johanna Pan.
"The 1/52 Project was a before and after in my professional career,” said 2022 Grant Recipient Stefania Bulbarella. “I now have the funds to rent a studio to work, bring animators to work along with me as I develop different projects. I no longer have to have animators working along with me in my room, instead I have a professional setup with optimum working conditions."
Launched in January 2022, The 1/52 Project is primarily funded by designers with shows running on Broadway. They donate one week of their weekly royalties annually to the fund. The 1/52 Project is partnered with TheFrontOffice Foundation.