Victory Gardens Theater has announced Jess McLeod and Aaron Todd Douglas as the 2018 Next Generation Fellows. Jess McLeod is the Samuel G. Roberson Artistic Fellow, and Aaron Todd Douglas is the Marcelle McVay Management Fellow.
The fellowship is a professional development program for mid-career persons of color intended to groom underrepresented theatre professionals for leadership positions in the American Theatre. The program is funded by a grant from The Field Foundation, integrating the fellows into the Victory Gardens staff and compensating them for their time.
“Victory Gardens’ Next Generation Fellowship furthers our institutional commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity. It is imperative that we as a theater community invest in future theater leaders that represent our audiences, communities, and stories told on our stages. We are thrilled to have Jess McLeod and Aaron Todd Douglas as our first Next Generation Fellows,” said Artistic Director Chay Yew. “Victory Gardens is extremely grateful to The Field Foundation for their generous support to make this a reality.”
“The Field Foundation is interested in compelling art, levers of justice, and furthering Chicagoans to create the city of tomorrow,” said Angelique Power, President of The Field Foundation of Illinois. “Because of this, we are thrilled to support Victory Gardens Theater’s exploration of how this theater can be a critical catalyst in propelling brilliant leaders of color forward in their careers.”