The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship
The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship restarted with the 2022/23 Season, reestablishing itself as a professional training program for individuals who are interested in contributing to a fuller representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals in the arts.
The goal of Arena Stage's fellowship program is to cultivate the next generation of BIPOC theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater. Successful candidates are highly motivated individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the arts.
What We Offer
The program offers personalized training and in-depth, hands-on experience with top-tier professionals in artistic and technical production, arts administration, arts education, and community outreach.
Additionally, all fellows receive:
Mentorship from Arena Stage staff members, including senior staff
Professional development workshops and educational sessions led by Arena Stage staff members and guest artists
Monthly meetings with directors, designers, and senior staff administrators who provide insight into the overall management of the theater
- A weekly fellowship stipend of $600. Please note that housing is not provided.
Complimentary tickets to Arena Stage’s productions
Structure of the Fellowship
The fellowship is full time and requires a dedication of 38 weeks.
- Fellowships will average 40 hours a week over the course of the fellowship. Depending on department and/or time in the season, some weeks may require more or fewer than 40 hours.
Fellows will have layers of support in their training and professional development:
Supervisor: A staff member in department that is primarily responsible for fellow’s learning experience.
Mentor: The most senior member of their department.
Training Programs Manager: A dedicated advocate and support for the fellow cohort, who also provides social and professional development opportunities for the group
2024/25 Season Fellowship Information
Check back in late November when applications will open for the 2024/25 fellowship.
2023/24 Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellows
Name: Vanessa Dalpiaz
Position: Artistic Development Fellow
Name: Indigo Garcia
Position: Lighting Fellow
Name: Destiny King
Position: Marketing and Media Fellow
Name: Alexandra Lopez
Position: General and Company Management Fellow
Name: Darien Mitchell
Position: Graphic Design Fellow
Name: Jazmyn Ja'Net Roberson
Position: School Programs Fellow
Name: Mina Sollars
Position: Development Fellow
Founding of Allen Lee Hughes Fellowships
In 1990, Arena Stage’s Founder and Artistic Director Zelda Fichandler and Artistic Associate Tazewell Thompson co-founded the theater’s fellowship program for individuals of color as part of Arena Stage’s cultural diversity program. These fellowships would provide the opportunity annually for culturally diverse candidates from around the country to apprentice at Arena Stage to both increase the participation of people of color in the theater field at large and increase diversity within Arena Stage as well.
The training program was named after Arena’s talented Associate Artist/Lighting Designer, Allen Lee Hughes, who started his career at Arena Stage in 1969 as an electrician. It was at Arena that Allen evolved from electrician to designer.
Sources: Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship 10th Anniversary Program, New York Times, Tazewell Thompson
Meet Allen Lee Hughes
The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program is made possible by the Hearst Foundations.
Arena Stage’s community engagement efforts are generously sponsored by Denie and Frank Weil; The Estate of Ms. Toni A. Ritzenberg; AT&T; Joanne Barker; Catherine and Chris Guttman-McCabe; Hattie M. Strong Foundation; Robert and Natalie Mandel Family Foundation; Floyd E. Davis Family Foundation; Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.; Alice Shaver Foundation; Theatre Forward; Collins Aerospace; England Family Foundation; Friends of Southwest D.C.; GEICO; JBG Smith; Wayne and Susan Jonas; Foley & Lardner LLP; Weissberg Foundation; Jean Schiro- Zavela and Vance Zavela; Actors’ Equity Foundation; and Youth Activities Task Force (YATF) of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, Inc.