The 1/52 Project, a financial grant program founded by Tony-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt, has announced the 2023 class of early-career designers who will benefit from $88,000 in grants.
Seven applicants were chosen based on talent, creativity, innovation, and potential for future excellence in the professional theatrical field, and each of the inaugural recipients will receive grants up to $15,000.
The 2023 recipients are lighting designer Ebony M. Burton, lighting designer Mextly Couzin, costume designer Mika Eubanks, costume designer Wilberth González, sound designer Kathy Ruvuna, scenic designer Gerardo Díaz Sánchez, and hair wig and makeup designer Destinee Steele.
“I am deeply grateful to the members of the Broadway community who have made this grant possible through their generous contributions, and to this year’s grant committee who shouldered the task of reading 62 applications from talented early career designers, conducting interviews with finalists, and making the impossible decisions of who should receive these grants from among so many worthy applicants. It breaks my heart we could not give funding to all of them,” said Boritt. “We had double the number of applicants this year. As the theatre community as a whole faces grave financial challenges, I fear the financial burden falls the hardest on the talented early career artists who need some support.”
The grant criteria were created and adjudicated by a committee of professional designers, including David Bengali, Amith Chandrashaker, Tony nominee Jiyoun Chang, Wilson Chin, Alan C. Edwards, Justin Ellington, Tony winner Kai Harada, Tony winner Rachel Hauck, Cookie Jordan, Sun Hee Kil, Hana S. Kim, Nikiya Mathis, Elaine McCarthy, Kimie Nishikawa, Alejo Vietti, and Anita Yavich.
The 1/52 Project is primarily funded by designers, with shows running on Broadway, who are encouraged to donate one week of their yearly royalties to this fund. The project hopes to encourage early career designers from historically excluded groups with the aim of diversifying and strengthening the Broadway design community.