Bly Creative Fellowship | 2016 | Bly Creative Capacity Grant

Call for applications – deadline September 15, 2016

Through the inspiration and generosity of Mark Bly, one of North America’s trailblazers in the field of theatrical dramaturgy, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) offers two innovative granting opportunities to support artists as they continue to chart new territories. LMDA seeks exceptional projects that are exploring and expanding the boundaries of dramaturgy in the Americas. This marks the third edition of the Bly Grant program.

(Information on the first round of grant recipients from 2014 can be found here. Information on the second round of grant recipients from 2015 can be found here.)

The Bly Creative Fellowship and Bly Creative Capacity Grant are designed to identify and offer significant financial support for artists who are creating new approaches to dramaturgy and/or are generating programs that are committed to exploring the unknown. With these grants, funded by a generous donation from Mark Bly, LMDA is committed to facilitating the creative dreams of independent or institutional artists who are defining new ways of conducting dramaturgical activities. The grants will be administered by LMDA. For more information, visit lmda.org.

Since its founding in 1985, LMDA has defined its mission as affirming the function of dramaturgy, exploring its practice, and promoting the profession. LMDA has made its mark on North America’s theatrical landscape by serving its constituency (including but not limited to literary managers, institutional and freelance dramaturgs, educators, students and other theatre artists) and contributing as a leader in the fields of dramaturgy and literary management.

LMDA encourages a range of artists and institutions to apply. See guidelines below. The criteria for selection are broad by design. LMDA wants to ensure that the Fellowship and Capacity Grant are accessible to visionary individuals for their projects.

According to Mark Bly, “These are exciting times for LMDA. The unexpected is in the air. The first two rounds of applications have generated projects that in their scope and imaginative reach are already having an impact far beyond the edges of our field. From the overseas “Dance With Me Project” chronicling the pioneering work of a dance dramaturg who worked with Pina Bausch, to the creation of the innovative “Online Dramaturgy Diversity Resources Handbook” which tackles nothing less than reframing diversity questions and rethinking value-based expertise, to “The High Z Project” – an international border-leaping project that has dramaturgs rubbing elbows with Nobel Prize-winning astronomers who measure the expansion of the universe – these folks are breaking the boundaries of what is dramaturgically possible. And we look forward to encountering more form-pushing applications from our members in the years to come.”

Application Guidelines and Conditions

• LMDA will award grants between $5,000 and $20,000 for individual projects (Fellowships) and for individual and institutional partnerships (Creative Capacity Grants).

• To be eligible, applications must come from individuals or institutions based in the Americas.

• Please note that institutional programs that are already in progress are not eligible for Fellowships or Creative Capacity Grants.

• Individuals who apply for a Fellowship must be members in good standing of LMDA. “In good standing” means that individual or student/intern membership dues are paid in full by the date of the application deadline and throughout the project process.

• Creative Capacity Grants are available to LMDA Institutional or Spotlight Members in good standing. An Institutional or Spotlight member applying for a Creative Capacity Grant is required to be a not-for-profit institution.

• Grantees should complete the project no later than 12 months from its initial funding by LMDA. Grantees are expected to attend a subsequent LMDA annual conference, to participate in a conference session related to their project, and to document their work on the project for the LMDA REVIEW and other targeted publications.

• Grantees must submit a written report, including final budget accounting, to the LMDA Board of Directors no later than 60 days after the completion date for the project.

• Grantees will be assigned (by LMDA) a Project Liaison who will serve as a link to LMDA and assist with project logistics, conference attendance, and other grant-related matters.  Travel subsidies to the LMDA conference may be awarded on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

We are particularly interested in:

• Projects that help make visible new ways of conducting dramaturgy;

Ideas that cross boundaries of disciplines, institutions and creative approaches.

We need a concise application that:

• Details your vision for the initiative;

Outlines the nature of your dramaturgical role within the project;

Specifies how this project will be able to move forward with the assistance of this grant.


The application must include the following sections (A-E) in a single PDF document, in this order (500-word maximum for each section):

A. Describe your project. What questions/ideas/issues are you exploring? What excites you about them? How does this particular project relate to your overall work as an artist?

B. Why this project? Why now? Why does it matter? What about this point in your career or institutional life, about this moment in time, necessitates this project?

C. What aspects of this project define new ways of conducting dramaturgy, can drive the theatre forward and/or have impact beyond the edges of our field? How will this project create what you want to see in the world that is not yet realized?

D. Where are you at this point in your process? Describe your timeline; include steps from this point to your desired goals.

E. Required Support Materials:

1. Preliminary Budget, indicating how you intend to use the funds you are requesting; include sources of additional funding if required to complete project;

2. Resumé of professional accomplishments (three-page maximum);

3. List of other confirmed collaborators, indicating their roles and involvement;

4. For Fellowship applications only: two professional letters of recommendation from colleagues who can speak to your work and/or this project;

5. For Creative Capacity applications institutions must include a letter of commitment from a leader of each institution and a one-page company overview including mandate/mission.

Do not send press materials of any kind, including videos, clippings, photos, programs, kits or folders.

E-mail application as a single PDF to blygrants@lmda.org by September 15, 2016.  

The PDF file should be TITLED as follows:  submitter last name.first name.pdf. 

Include, as appropriate, either “Bly Fellowship Submission” or “Bly Creative Capacity Grant Submission” in e-mail subject line.

Applications will be accepted by e-mail only. LMDA may contact applicants for further information or a more detailed proposal during the adjudication process.

For more information, or if you have questions regarding the eligibility of your project and/or about the application process, please contact LMDA by e-mail after July 15 at this address: blygrants@lmda.org. Please include “Bly Fellowship Question” or “Bly CC Grant Question” in the subject line.  

Applicants will be informed of results on or after December 15, 2016.
Feedback on unsuccessful applications will not be provided.

We look forward to reading your application.

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