“You won't have peace and agreement in the world unless we're
connected by culture and art. Art transcends borders.”
Jozef Szajna, Polish director and Holocaust survivor



From 2010 – 2019, multi-year grants were awarded each year through the New Theatre Works Initiative (NTWI) to nonprofit theatre companies in the Philadelphia region to support the creation of new artistic theatrical performances. Rather than limiting its scope to a single form, genre or developmental structure, these grants accommodated the numerous creative styles and unique perspectives of theatre groups by allowing them to design their own approach to developing new work.  NTWI grants funded play, musical, devised or multidisciplinary performance development,  including activities leading to full productions of new work, commissioning fees, playwright/creator residency expenses, dramaturgical sessions, research, staged readings, fully-produced developmental workshops or workshop productions, or other works-in-progress presentations.

Select organizations with strong, consistent track records of producing new work were invited to submit proposals. One grant per year was awarded at each of these funding levels:

  • Small theatres – with annual operating budgets between $100,000 – $500,000 were granted up to $45,000 over three years (at $15,000 per year);
  • Mid-size theatres – with annual operating budgets between $500,000 – $2,000,000 were granted up to $75,000 over three years (at $25,000 per year);
  • Large theatres – with annual operating budgets greater than $2,000,0000 were granted up to $150,000 over three years (at $50,000 per year).

Developed in 2009 as a three-year pilot project, this initiative went on to have a great deal of success over a ten-year period.  During that time, twenty-eight (28) grants were made to seventeen (17) different arts organizations, for a total of $2,760,000 in funding for the New Theatre Works Initiative.

We are very proud of the work accomplished during this decade and the exciting and provocative theatrical performances created with this funding.

View Past Recipients