*Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program Alumni pictured

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 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


Artistic Fellow
Community Programs Fellow
Company/General Management
Development Fellow
Lighting Fellow
Marketing and Media Fellow
Multimedia Design Fellow
School Programs Fellow

2023/24 Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellows

Name: Vanessa Dalpiaz

Position: Artistic Development Fellow

Name: Indigo Garcia

Position: Lighting Fellow

Name: Genean Grobe

Position: Community Programs 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: Winta Habtemichael

Position: School Programs Fellow

Name: Mina Sollars

Position: Development Fellow

Paige Hernandez - The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program Alum
Jamil Jude - The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program Alum
Otis Ramsey Zöe - The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program Alum


Please email fellows@arenastage.org if you have additional questions or concerns.

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 

Allen Lee Hughes (far left), Fellowship alumni and friends of the program celebrate its 25th anniversary during the 2015/16 Season.


The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship is made possible by  and 

Arena Stage’s community engagement efforts are generously sponsored by Denie and Frank Weil; The Estate of Ms. Toni A. Ritzenberg; Joanne Barker; The Robert and Natalie Mandel Family Foundation; Boeing; Exelon; AT&T; Comcast; The National Endowment for the Arts; Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.; Alice Shaver Foundation; Venable Foundation; Friends of Southwest D.C.; GEICO; Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation; Hattie M. Strong Foundation; The Lois & Richard England Family Foundation; Enterprise Holdings Foundation; and Actors’ Equity Foundation.