SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is proud to announce it has, for the third consecutive year, awarded WBTT Artist Development scholarships to deserving students. Last year, six up-and-coming artists were presented with $2,000 scholarships for studies in a college or conservatory program in the performing arts or arts management for the 2020-2021 academic year. This year, WBTT had enough funding to provide eight young artists with scholarships of $2,000 each.
This year’s recipients and their respective benefactors are: Todd Bellamy II, Alan P. Kurland Artist Development Scholarship; Charlotte Corporan, Dr. Jody Beresford & Dr. Robert Mayer Artist Development Scholarship; Ariana Fitzgerald, Marie McKee & Robert Cole Artist Development Scholarship; Amaya Glover, Shelley & Sy Goldblatt Artist Development Scholarship; Tay Marquise, Jack & Priscilla Schlegel Artist Development Scholarship; Astrid Victoria McIntyre, Kitty & John Cranor Artist Development Scholarship; Maicy Powell, Marian Moss Artist Development Scholarship; and Aleah Williams, Charlayne Hunter-Gault Artist Development Scholarship.
Here is a little more about the scholarship winners:
• Bellamy, who graduated from the Booker High School VPA 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 third year as a Theatre major at Florida A&M University. He was named “Mr. Essential Theatre” last year and serves as an ambassador for the theatre program.
• Corporan, also a Booker VPA graduate who is entering her third year at Rollins College as a Music major and Dance minor, participated in Stage of Discovery once and returned for her second consecutive summer this year as a dance instructor assistant. She plays piano and saxophone, and dances.
• Fitzgerald, a graduate of Manatee School for the Arts who attended Stage of Discovery for several years, is a Musical Theatre major in her second year at Jacksonville University.
• Glover, a Booker VPA graduate who participated in the Stage of Discovery program and interned with WBTT in audio production, is entering her third year at Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in Audio Production with a minor in Music Business.
• Marquise, a Booker VPA graduate who participated in Stage of Discovery for three years and returned for the second time this summer as a dance instructor, is entering his third year at Pace University as a Musical Theatre major.
• McIntyre, who recently graduated from Manatee School for the Arts, has been involved with the Stage of Discovery program for the past five years. She has also participated in WBTT’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, the theater grand opening in 2020, the 2021 April Fools’ Fete, and several Jukebox Revue performances. She is headed to Southeastern University, where she plans to major in Music Business.
• 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 senior year at Howard University, where she is majoring in Business Management with a minor in Film and Television. She is interning with Amazon Studios this summer.
• Williams, who graduated from the Booker VPA program, interned with WBTT for two years and also participated in Stage of Discovery, is beginning her second year at Rider University, majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Broadcast Journalism.
“My true calling and purpose for founding this organization has always been to help young aspiring artists who may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their talents and gain the tools they need 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 incredibly talented and deserving students. Regardless of their career path, their experiences and training at WBTT will serve them very well.”
To be eligible, participants must have performed on the WBTT stage in at least two productions, worked at the theatre as an intern, and/or been a participant in the Stage of Discovery summer musical theatre intensive program. Funds are disbursed directly to the educational institution the awardees will be attending in the fall.
For more about WBTT, go to westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
The mission of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates African American history and experience, engages a broad base of patrons and audiences, supports the development of a dynamic group of aspiring artists, and builds self-esteem in youth of color.