Known for their popular variety night Broadway Unplugged, Be You Inc. have recently launched a grant program for young artists with the hope of paving the way for a more inclusive future for the theatre community.
“The idea for the School Audition Grant came earlier in the year when the team recognised the systemic oppression that is in place within the performing arts industry,” said Kaori Maeda-Judge, Be You Inc’s Diversity and Inclusivity Representative. “It’s much harder for people of colour to pursue a career on stage, especially in music theatre. And we wanted to help change that.”
To study performing arts at a tertiary level in Australia you have to audition. Most tertiary institutions charge an application fee of $75 for each discipline. It is quite common for potential artists to apply to multiple programs or try for a few years before securing an admission spot. Be You Inc have launched a grant program that would aim to remove this financial barrier by covering their tertiary program audition fees.
“The lack of representation on our stages along with these audition costs that not everyone can meet means that for so many young artists it’s hard to identify with people on stage so they don’t see a future for themselves in the industry,” said Maeda-Judge. “We wanted to offer the grants to anyone for whom the fees created a financial barrier-to-entry and also to artists who identified as People of Colour.”
“The lack of representation on our stages means that for so many young artists of colour it’s hard to see themselves represented by the people on stage so they don’t see a future for themselves in the industry. That $75 can be a deal breaker.”
A week after launching the GoFundMe campaign, the fund was sitting just shy of $10,000. “We were completely overwhelmed by the response, this now means we can give out over 100 grants instead of our initial four!” said Maeda-Judge. “If you know someone who would directly benefit from the grant program, send them the info and help us make a difference.”
Applications for the grant program are now open, and close Sunday 20 September 2020. For more information and how to apply, visit: www.beyouinc.org for details.
Image: Be You Inc. (supplied)