Theatre Forward

Advancing American theatre and its communities

New York, NY   |  www.theatreforward.org
This organization has not appeared on the IRS Business Master File in a number of months. It may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Mission

Theatre Forward is a nonprofit arts organization that supports a network of 19 prominent regional theatres in their efforts to enrich communities and make theatre accessible to all. By connecting these theatres to funding and resources on a national level, Theatre Forward helps drive education and community programs that fuel positive social change and engagement. Together, we are moving theatre forward.

Ruling year info

1977

Executive Director

Mrs. Gretchen Shugart

Main address

505 Eight Avenue, Suite 2504

New York, NY 10018 USA

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Formerly known as

National Corporate Theatre Fund

EIN

13-2913176

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (A12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Theatre Forward’s fosters collaboration among nineteen of the country’s leading regional theatres to provide general operations support, technical support, and to generate financial resources that increase overall participation from a variety of audiences at those theatres. Through collaboration and partnerships, we assist theatres Equity, Diversity and Inclusion advancements; promote 21st century workforce skills -- including the development of social and emotional learning competencies and attitudes among children and young adults, as well as support STEAM related initiatives that add arts to the broader curriculum. Theatre Forward helps our theatres increase access and opportunity at every grade level and beyond with an emphasis on underserved and under-represented youth and adults. Furthermore, we support the development of collaborative measurement and assessment systems, which benefits the entire arts education field.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Advancing Strong Theatre

In 2018, Theatre Forward's Advancing Strong Theatre launched and funded four programs in four cities across America. This pilot program was an ambitious initiative to enhance the way theatres engage with and strengthen their local community, deepen relationships, and empower individuals, so that everyone, regardless of income, education, age, race, religion, ability, and/or gender identity, could experience theatre and its benefits.

The pilot round of grants was awarded to Dallas Theater Center, Guthrie Theater, The Old Globe, and Seattle Rep. It was clear that these projects have made a substantial impact on the lives of their participants, the theatres, and the broader community through storytelling workshops, free-to-public performances, professional tours to community centers, acting workshops, open mics, and other community events.

As a funder of Advancing Strong Theatre, Bank of America was committed to making this work continue. Now, with an exclusive corporate sponsorship, Bank of America is securing Theatre Forward’s next phase of this grant program on a multi-year basis.Bank of America ACTivate Awards is a program that makes grants for member theatres that help promote social good by building lasting relationships, one community at a time.

Member theatres will submit their ideas for programming that is intended to build sustainable, authentic relationships with community organizations. Grants of $50,000 or more will be awarded to 4-6 programs focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.

Advancing Strong Theatre is operated by a Program Committee of leading artists and theatre
executives from among our network of theatres. Grantmaking is based upon an independent panel
review process. The Program Committee designs the Requests for Proposals for each cycle of
funding, and engage the independent panel, with the support of the staff of Theatre Forward.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In our education initiative Educating Through Theatre, we aim to help theatres improve the lives and careers
of countless students and adults each year through the inspiration and unique skills of theatre. At-risk
youth, English Language Learners, children in poverty, families in social service agencies, and lower income
citizens are among the ultimate beneficiaries of these programs.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Today's enormously challenging operating environment for theatres and companies alike pose opportunities for mutual support and collaboration. Our communities and our workforce need the inspiration and education our theatres offer. Our theatres themselves are weathering challenges of historic proportions, yet they are creating theatre of unique excellence. Wherever a corporation can engage with a theatre, whether through philanthropy, sponsorship, board membership, education, or employee engagement, Theatre Forward is a bridge to lively and productive partnerships that keep America creative.

To carry out this mission, Theatre Forward is focusing on three major programs:
1. Educating Through Theatre: W help theatres improve the lives and careers of countless students and adults each year through the inspiration and unique skills of theatre. At-risk youth, English Language Learners, children in poverty, families in social service agencies, and lower income citizens are among the ultimate beneficiaries of these programs.
2. Advancing Strong Theatre: We support artistic projects enhancing our theatres commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for targeted underserved and under-represented communities.
3. Annual Fund: Theatre Forward responds to our theatres' needs and therefore the needs of their communities to achieve impact beyond what a single theatre can do independently. We provide funding through our Annual Fund giving program,

Theatre Forward theatres contribute to our creative and cultural life - benefiting local communities, children, employees and the economy. Productions they originated have transferred to New York and other theatres, and have won dozens of Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prizes. They enrich lives of the local residents who enjoy their performances, provide creative opportunities for distinguished and emerging performers, serve as incubators for new works, and serve over 500,000 children through their theatre education programs, most from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Since 1978, Theatre Forward has generated millions of dollars for its founding theatres. In many cases, Theatre Forward is among the largest cumulative donors to these theatres, and ranks among the top 10 corporate donors at most. These critical distributions are funded by comprehensive corporate partnerships of long standing.
To date we have raised over $60 million from from nearly 100 companies and foundations, and hundreds of generous individuals.
We have funded major theatre education programs including Staging Success (supported by AT&T), Impact Creativity, and Making Music (supported by The Augustine Foundation). In addition, we are partnering with Bank of America to launch the Bank of America ACTivate Awards: A Program of Theatre Forward. We continue to contribute to the development of many top artists in the industry. We break down barriers for all to experience theatre nationwide. We create over 40 events annually connecting New Yorkers to Broadway and its artists.

Financials

Theatre Forward
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Theatre Forward

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Thomopoulos

EY

Term: 2016 - 2019

Isabelle Winkles

Board President

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes