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Van Lier New Voices Fellowship

The Program

The Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, with additional support from the Jerome Foundation, supports playwrights of color age 30 and under, who demonstrate financial need. During a year-long residency, Fellows will work on multiple artistic projects through an individually-tailored program of Lark play development activities, and form relationships with other theater makers at various career stages from all parts of the world.

As of the 2020 cycle of this program, the Fellowship includes a cash award of $35,000, plus access to a $5,000 Opportunity Fund and to a wide range of Lark resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal space, and staff support. From 2011-2019 the Fellowship included an award of $15,000 and a $3,000 Opportunity Fund.

The Impact

The New Voices Fellowship is designed to help address the lack of inclusion of early career playwrights of color in the theater field. The program is a critical component in The Lark’s acclaimed portfolio of fellowships, which aims to engage a diverse community of extraordinary playwrights—at various places in their careers—who represent a contemporary national vision. The Lark believes targeted support to early-career playwrights is essential to a culture of equity, access, and inclusion, and a national  theater that represents the vibrancy of our collective cultural voices.

The Selection Process

Fellows are selected through an open application process. Applicants must be legal residents of New York City, identify as playwrights of color age 30 and under at the time of application, demonstrate financial need, and make a case for how the Fellowship and participation in The Lark’s community would promote transformative artistic and professional growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to show proof of financial needs? 

There is no need to provide any official documents.  A statement works just fine and any facts or figures you want to provide are welcome.

I’m in my final year of my MFA program, can I apply?

As long as you won’t be enrolled during the fellowship period, you are eligible to apply. 

I am turning 31 during this fellowship year, am I still eligible? 

If you are 30 or under at the time of application, turning 31 during the fellowship period will not make you ineligible.

Will the fellowship stipend be paid quarterly? Yearly? Every two weeks? 

The fellowship stipend is paid on a monthly basis. 

Is the stipend taxable income? 

Yes, fellows will receive a 1099 form to complete for both 2021 and 2022. 

What can the $5,000 Opportunity Fund be used for? If selected, how do I apply for the fund?

The $5,000 Opportunity Fund can be used for the purposes of travel, research, and other expenses related to creative and professional expenses. The Fellow will request these funds in writing to the Artistic Director, and no reasonable request will be refused.

Due to professional and personal obligations, I will be out of NYC for several weeks/months over the course of the year.  Should I apply? 

You are eligible to apply and your artist statement would be a good place to address your plans for how to make use of Lark resources given those obligations.

I write musicals, can the Lark support me? 

While we do occasionally support musicals and writers can develop them in some of our programs, our resources are best suited for text based plays. 

I have two other fellowships at different institutions at this time, can I also apply to this opportunity?

You are eligible to apply as long as you are not a current or previous Van Lier Fellow at any organization.  Please describe how you see those fellowships working together with this opportunity in your artistic statement.

Additional questions can be emailed to

The Fellows


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This program is made possible with major support from The New York Community Trust's Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, with additional support from the Jerome Foundation.

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