From left, visual artist Carmen Menza and playwright Gloria Bond Clunie

TACA Funds New Works and Residencies

Seven theater, dance and music organizations nab New Works grants; and four receive artist residency funds.

published Thursday, September 5, 2019

Photo: Courtesy
From left, visual artist Carmen Menza and playwright Gloria Bond Clunie


Dallas — The 2019 TACA New Works Fun and Artist Residence Funds have been announced. In the New Works category, which began in 2012, there have typically been three or four arts organizations sharing $100,000; this year that amount has been bumped up to $150,000, and is split between seven groups: Cry Havoc Theater Co., Dallas Children's Theater, Dallas Sympony, Dallas Theater Center, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Junior Players, and Undermain Theatre. Another $70,000 goes to Avant Chamber Ballet, Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas, Dallas Symphony and Junior Players in the Artist Residency Fund.


Here is the complete news release from TACA:

TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) has announced the 2019 recipients of the TACA New Works Fund and the TACA Artist Residency Fund. A diverse group of nine arts organizations – representing dance, instrumental music, choral music and theater – will receive 11 grants totaling $220,000 to create new works or to support artist residencies in North Texas. 

Photo: Courtesy
Playwright Don X. Nguyen

“TACA is thrilled to announce a record $220,000 to support the creation of new works and fund artist residencies in North Texas,” said Wolford McCue, TACA Carlson president and executive director. “We offer our deepest gratitude to the Hersh Foundation, Sapphire Foundation, and Donna Wilhelm Family Fund for their support of the New Works Fund and the Bowdon Family Foundation and Rea Charitable Trust for their support of the Artist Residency Fund.”

“This year, we’re thrilled to be funding a record seven New Works Fund grant recipients, including first-time grantees Cry Havoc Theater Co., Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, and Junior Players,” McCue added.  “We’re also increasing our distribution to the Artist Residency Fund to $70,000, a 40 percent increase from last year.   Avant Chamber Ballet and Dallas Symphony Orchestra are receiving the grant for the first time.”

Launched in 2012, the TACA New Works Fund was established to support the development and performance of innovative new works of music, dance, and theater in Dallas County. To date, the New Works Fund has provided $900,000 in grants to support 28 new works including Everest by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer at The Dallas Opera and Chasing Home by Albert Drake and Joseph Thalken at Bruce Wood Dance. 


2019 New Works Fund


Cry Havoc Theater Co. - $25,000

H2O, by Mara Richards Bim


Dallas Children’s Theater - $25,000

Last Stop on Market Street, by Gloria Bond Clunie, Matt de la Peña, vickie washington, M. Denise Lee, and Robyn Flatt


Dallas Symphony Orchestra - $15,000

Negotiating Dialogues, by Carmen Menza, Mark Menza, Eric Farrar, Joel Olivas, and musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; as part of the DSO’s Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival


Dallas Theater Center - $20,000

The Supreme Leader, by Don X. Nguyen


Photo: Courtesy
Playwrights Erin Burdette and Michael Federico will create a work for Junior Players

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance - $25,000

PETE: A New Dance Musical, by Joshua L. Peugh


Junior Players - $15,000

Junior Players Presents: The Aftermath, by Erin Burdette and Michael Federico


Undermain Theatre - $25,000

He’s Born, He’s Borne, by David Rabe


“In our upcoming documentary/verbatim piece, H2O, the teens of Cry Havoc and I will collect interviews from across the country and from across the political spectrum on the pressing issue of climate change. The immediacy of the topic and the resulting outcry of youth from across the globe makes this project particularly relevant at this moment,” said Founder Mara Richards Bim.  “Creating new work like H2O takes time and resources and champions like TACA and the funders who support the New Works Program.  I'm profoundly grateful for their vision and dedication to the development of new work and for their support of this project.”

“The grant from the TACA New Work Fund will allow our vision and our impact to expand, giving our community more opportunities to see their stories reflected on stage; for them to feel, experience, and participate in the practice of art-making in their own classrooms and neighborhoods,” stated Chadi El-Khoury, executive director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance.

“Junior Players is excited for the opportunity to expand their artistic repertoire by nurturing the voice of our youth and community artists.  Thanks to TACA and their generous donors, Junior Players will be able to create a new work that expounds on the topics and conversations highlighted in our recently piloted initiative titled: Junior Players Champions and Challenges - a broadcast journalism program,” said Junior Players’ Rosaura Cruz, Executive Director. “This production, The Aftermath, focuses on local stories that reflect our everyday lives.  You will embark on a journey of turning points, choices, decisions from the lens of the next generation of change agents. These stories are not a vehicle of answers, but a request to question and create social change. Inevitable, universally meaningful, and illuminating, this is The Aftermath.”

In 2015, TACA developed the TACA Artist Residency Fund in response to the 2014 TACA Perforum symposium when the local arts community expressed a need for greater support of unique artist-community engagement opportunities. To date, the fund has distributed $370,000 to 17 residencies including Jamal Story’s residency with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and playwright Jonathan Norton’s current residency at Dallas Theater Center.  The fund supports the development of innovative artistic residency programs in Dallas County while fostering meaningful interaction among arts organizations, artists, and the greater community.


2019 Artist Residency Fund


Photo: Lynn Lane
Choreographer Jennifer Mabus

Avant Chamber Ballet - $15,000

Residency of choreographer and dance artist Jennifer Mabus


Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas - $10,000

Residency of Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore!, Orpheus Chamber Singers, cellist Gayane Manasjan and her string quartet, and storyteller DeeCee Cornish


Dallas Symphony Orchestra - $13,000

Residency of musician and composer Julia Wolfe


Junior Players - $32,000

Residency of Shelby Doroshow, Shannon Hart, Yolanda Williams


"Avant Chamber Ballet is honored to receive the Artist in Residency grant for the first time. The funding will not only fund the creation of a new work by Jennifer Mabus for Women's Choreography Project but also fund her residency with local youth non-profits. The new work will be a true collaboration of our dancers, musicians, choreographer and the community, " said Katie Cooper, Artistic Director. 

“We are honored to be a first-time recipient of the TACA Artist Residency Fund,” said Kim Noltemy, Dallas Symphony Orchestra President & CEO. “This award will support the work of our Composer-in-Residence Julia Wolfe. The DSO is a co-commissioner of Wolfe’s new work, Fountain of Youth, which will receive its Dallas premiere in January 2020 with Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi. She will also play a central role in this April’s Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, both in performances of her works and in educational opportunities with Dallas students. We are grateful to TACA for their visionary leadership in bringing new work and thought-provoking performances to the Dallas community.”

A panel of local and national artists and arts managers narrowed applicant organizations through a competitive application and review process followed by interviews by local nonprofit and arts experts.  Panelists selected the recipients based on the innovativeness and merit of their project, the inclusion of artistic collaborations, and the quality of engagement of target audiences.

In addition to these two funds, TACA provided $750,000 in general operating grants to 48 performing and visual arts organizations in January 2019. Since its founding in 1967, TACA has distributed more than $29 million to over 160 arts organizations.



2019 TACA Artist Residency Fund Jurors

Adam Adolfo – Director of Marketing & Community Engagement, Bishop Arts Theatre Center

Laura Barbee – Dance Teaching Artist, Texas Christian University

Ariel Bradler – Executive Director, Theatre Puget Sound

Sam Brukhman – Artistic Director, Verdigris Ensemble

Lily Cabatu Weiss – Executive Director, Dallas Arts District

William George-Twyman – Head of Choral Studies, Booker T. Washington HSPVA

Leonard Hayes – Head of Piano Studies, Booker T. Washington HSPVA

Brea Heidelberg – Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director, Drexel University

Denise Lee – CEO Denise Lee Onstage and Change the Perception

Carmen Menza – Artist, Menza Art Studio

Rachel Naomi Wade – Director, Arlington Heights Dance Department, Fort Worth ISD

Ilknur Ozgur – Founder, Artstillery

Suzanne Smith – Founder and CEO, Social Impact Architects

Alex Turrini – Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Southern Methodist University

Anna Wittstruck Gottlieb – Director of Orchestra, University of Puget Sound


2019 TACA New Works Fund Jurors

Matthew Albert – Chair of Chamber Music, University of Michigan

Susan Douglas Roberts – Professor of Dance, Texas Christian University

Emily Ernst – Professor of theatre, University of Nebraska

Erica Felicella – Owner, Cella Arts

Danielle Georgiou – Artistic Director, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group

Leah Harris – Director of Community Engagement, Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Dr. Samuel Holland – Dean and Professor of Music, Southern Methodist University

Parisa Khobdeh – Principal Dancer, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Company; Artistic Director and Choreographer, Parisa Khobdeh Dance Company

Peter Kupfer – Associate Professor of Musicology, Southern Methodist University

Bridget L. Moore – Artistic Director, B. Moore Dance

Clint Riley – Nonprofit Arts Executive

Liz Sankarsingh – Program Manager, Ignite Arts Dallas, Southern Methodist University

Joanie Schultz-Milioto – Theater Director

Audra Scott – Head of Opera Studies, Booker T. Washington HSPVA

Regina Taylor – Writer, Actor, Director, Producer

Christopher Treviño – Assistant Technical Director, University of Texas at Dallas

Corinne Woods – Director of Programs, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York Thanks For Reading

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TACA Funds New Works and Residencies
Seven theater, dance and music organizations nab New Works grants; and four receive artist residency funds.
by Mark Lowry

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