By Southwester Staff

Southwest’s Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has opened applications for the Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program for the 2023/24 Season. Founded in 1990 and named for the four-time Tony Award-nominated lighting designer, the fellowship program is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) theater professionals. 

Applications will be accepted through March 17, 2023 at

The fellowship is a professional training program for individuals who are interested in contributing to a fuller representation of BIPOC individuals in the arts. The full-time program offers personalized training and in-depth, hands-on experience with top-tier professionals in artistic and technical production, arts administration, arts education, and community outreach. 

Fellows in the program, who receive a weekly stipend, will be mentored by an Arena Stage staff member, participate in professional development workshops, and attend monthly meetings with directors, designers, and senior staff administrators who provide insight into the overall management of theater. Opportunities include: 

  • Artistic Development: Artistic Development Fellow
  • Arts Administration: Development Fellow, General and Company Management Fellow, Graphic Design Fellow, Marketing and Media Fellow
  • Community Engagement: Community Programs Fellow, School Programs Fellow
  • Production: Lighting Fellow

Fellowships are full-time and require a dedication of 35-38 weeks. For the 2023/24 Season, the fellowships start on September 5, 2023, and end on May 24, 2024. Compensation includes a weekly stipend of $600. Housing is not provided. 

Arena Stage has supported young artists though the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship Program for over 30 years. More than 700 young artists and administrators have gone through the program and over 85% are still working in theater. Graduates include Tony-nominated director Lileana Blain-Cruz, Washingtonian “40 Under 40” multidisciplinary artist Paige Hernandez, True Colors Theatre Company Artistic Director Jamil Jude, Barrymore Award-winning costume designer LeVonne Lindsay, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Associate General Manager J.P. McLaurin, Theater J Managing Director David Lloyd Olson, lighting designer Xavier Pierce, Arena Stage Literary Manager Otis Ramsey-Zöe, NextStop Theater Company Associate Artistic Director Aria Velz, Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright Cheryl West, and more. 

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