SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is proud to announce it has awarded scholarships to six deserving students. Last year – the first for WBTT’s scholarship program – six up-and-coming artists were presented with $1,000 scholarships for studies in a college or conservatory program in the performing arts or arts management for the 2019-2020 academic year; this year, WBTT provided six young artists with scholarships of $2,000 each.
The scholarship winners are: Todd Bellamy II, Alan P. Kurland Artist Development Scholarship; Charlotte Corporan, Linda & Bill Berliner Artist Development Scholarship; Ariana Fitzgerald, Marie McKee & Robert Cole Artist Development Scholarship; Jatavian Peterson, Jack & Priscilla Schlegel Artist Development Scholarship; Maicy Powell, Marian Moss Artist Development Scholarship; and Aleah Williams, Kitty & John Cranor Artist Development Scholarship.
To be eligible, participants must have performed on the WBTT stage in at least two productions, worked at WBTT as an intern, or have been a participant in the WBTT Stage of Discovery summer musical theater intensive program. Funds are disbursed directly to the educational institution the awardees are or will be attending.
Here is a little more about the scholarship winners:
Bellamy, who graduated from the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program, participated in Stage of Discovery for four years, and performed in two WBTT mainstage productions, “Black Nativity” and “Raisin” as well as shows at other venues, is entering his second year as a Theatre major at Florida A&M University.
Corporan, also a Booker VPA graduate who is entering her second year at Rollins College as a Music major and Dance minor, participated in Stage of Discovery once and returned this summer as a dance instructor assistant.
Fitzgerald, a recent graduate of Manatee School for the Arts who attended Stage of Discovery for several years, will attend Jacksonville University to major in Musical Theatre.
Peterson, a Booker VPA graduate who participated in Stage of Discovery for three years and returned this year as a dance instructor, is entering his second year at Pace University as a Musical Theatre major.
Powell, a graduate of the Booker VPA program who interned with WBTT for two years, attended Stage of Discovery for two years, performed in WBTT’s production of “Black Nativity,” and created and performed her Young Artist Program production, “The Kid Is Alright,” is entering her junior year at Howard University, where she is majoring in Business Management with a minor in Jazz (Vocal).
Williams, who just graduated from the Booker VPA program, interned with WBTT for two years and also participated in Stage of Discovery, will attend Rider University with plans to major in Criminal Justice and minor in Music.
Scholarship funds have been generously provided by donors and named scholarships represent committed donations of at least $6,000, paid over three years. In addition, WBTT received memorial gifts made in honor of late board member Alan Kurland – who began serving on the WBTT board in 2010 and died in April – to fund his named scholarship.
“While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theater, my dream – my true calling and purpose for founding this organization – has always been to help young aspiring artists who may otherwise be overlooked to develop their talents and have the opportunity to achieve success,” said WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “We are thrilled to be able to contribute financially to the arts education of these deserving students and look forward to seeing just how much they will achieve in the future.”
For more about WBTT, go to westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional Black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. Its mission is to produce professional theater that promotes and celebrates the African American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African American youth. For more information, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.