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Of Sound Minds: NEA, TCG Expand Program

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Sound designers who have been left out of the annual National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Guild (NEA/TCG) Career Develop-ment Programs for Directors and Designers have reason to celebrate. The next round of the program, with its $17,500 grants, will be opened to sonic designers as well as scene, costume, and lighting designers. As always, directors are also eligible for fellowships.

The deadlines for applications to the program are Jan. 3, 2001 for directors, and Jan. 15, 2001 for designers.

To be considered for the program, designers must be U.S. residents; able to relocate if necessary for the successful completion of specially-tailored career development placements; and have no professional or personal commitments that would prevent them from devoting six full months to program-related activities. They must have designed professionally for more than two, but no more than five, years (in the case of directors, they must have directed at least three fully-staged professional productions); those who have not designed (or directed) professionally for at least a year after completing their academic training, as well as those who are enrolled in (or on leave from) university or conservatory training programs at the commencement of the program period, are generally not eligible. Previous recipients of the fellowships, and those with full-time salaried staff positions at professional theatres, are not eligible.

The program will give recipients the opportunity to spend six months developing their design skills and expanding their knowledge of the field by working with one or more senior designers and other freelance or institutionally-based artists. Placements are hand-tailored, matching recipients' needs and goals with assignments; in addition to being placed at leading non profit theatres and with individual senior designers who serve as mentors, it is also possible for recipients to work in related performing arts disciplines.

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