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News : Education Dec 1, 2013 - 5:29:03 PM

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts Receives Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Grant Award for Adaptability

By Wesleyan University

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Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University (photography Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)
Middletown, CT - Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts has received an unsolicited national grant award of $400,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Foundation, which supports performing artists in contemporary dance, jazz, and theater with the creation and public performance of their work, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them; has announced today that five arts organizations will receive a total of $3.5 million in funding to help them further develop their long-term capacity to respond to changing conditions in the performing arts sector and the world at large, including those related to demographics, audience behavior and the impact of technology.

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is one of the five grantees. The other four organizations are the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts), the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, Oregon); the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.); and On the Boards (Seattle, Washington).

“This initiative recognizes and supports organizations that have proven, time and again, that they are leaders and innovators in their fields," said Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. "We understand that most organizations do not have enough, if any, ‘change capital’—funds that they can devote to maximizing their adaptability. With that in mind, these awards are intended to further fuel the ability of these five organizations to position themselves to respond to changes in their respective environments.”

“This exciting award really speaks to the CFA’s tradition – 40 years and counting – of building a community of creativity and experimentation,” said Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. “Under Pamela Tatge’s leadership our Center for the Arts has found ways to engage an increasingly diverse audience. An award like this also recognizes and supports Wesleyan’s extraordinary commitment to the arts.”

“This grant came as a complete surprise to me and the staff of the CFA,” said Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University. “We are honored to be recognized in this important way. This grant will allow us to lay the groundwork for continued innovation and exciting programs that serve the campus and community, and advance the creativity of Wesleyan faculty and students and the talented artists we bring to campus.”

Notable recent initiatives of the Center for the Arts include the Creative Campus Initiative ( including the Feet to the Fire program (, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (

The grants were not open for application. Instead, an anonymous panel identified five organizations that have demonstrated a sustained appetite to innovate and experiment in ways that inform and lead their respective fields. Each organization will go through an organizational self-analysis, followed by an external assessment. Then they will develop and implement strategies and tactics to best enhance their long-term capacity to adapt.

The grantees will receive support over a period of up to four years. Appropriate uses of this money include, but are not limited to, staff expansion, creation of capital reserves, professional development, technology, board and staff retreats, convenings and consultants.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Foundation’s Arts Program focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.

For more information, please visit

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, celebrating its 40th anniversary during the 2013-2014 season, exists to catalyze people’s creativity by engaging them in the dynamic work of diverse artists. Three inter-related activities enable the CFA to realize its purpose:
supporting the research, public productions and in-studio teaching needs of the departments of Art and Art History, Dance, Music, and Theater;
leading inter-disciplinary collaborations and other initiatives that integrate artists into creative curricular and co-curricular initiatives; and
organizing powerful encounters between visiting artists and diverse elements of the Wesleyan community, the greater Middletown community, statewide and regional audiences.

The Center for the Arts' eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 400-seat Crowell Concert Hall, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, and classrooms and studios.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Dance/USA, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford Courant, Shore Publishing, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

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