Many Voices Fellowships are awarded annually to two artists of color with previous playwriting experience and/or training. Fellowships provide an $18,000 stipend and $2,000 in play development funds. Fellows spend a year-long residency in Minnesota, working in an individualized and hands-on way with the Playwrights’ Center artistic staff—some of the most experienced and connected theater professionals in the country. Beyond the financial stipend, the value of fellowships is more than doubled with the year-long support the Playwrights’ Center adds through workshops with professional directors, dramaturgs, and actors and through the connections the Center makes between playwrights and producers of new work. This holistic and customized combination of financial support, access to talent, and professional connections is career-changing for most playwrights.
The Many Voices Fellowship was created in 1994 in partnership with the Jerome Foundation in order to create a home for early-career playwrights of color who would provide the American theater scene with diverse voices and aesthetics. Since that time, the Many Voices program has provided over 140 fellowships for more than 100 emerging playwrights of color, offering class instruction, play development workshops, and mentoring opportunities. Many Voices fellowship recipients include Aamera Siddiqui, Jessica Huang, Naomi Iizuka, Daniel Alexander Jones, Aditi Kapil, Janaki Ranpura, Josh Wilder, and Harrison David Rivers.
In response to a national field study commissioned by the Playwrights' Center and the Jerome Foundation, the Many Voices Fellowships was significantly expanded in the 2013-14 fellowship year, offering a doubled award and opening to writers of color residing outside of Minnesota.