February 9, 2017 


Washington, D.C. — Georgetown University has received a grant of $250,000 over three years from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a grant of $100,000 from the Ford Foundation for planning and new initiatives at The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics (The Lab). Both grants are the first to date for these foundations in support of the Lab, which harnesses the power of performance to humanize global politics and is housed in GU’s School of Foreign Service.

The Mellon Foundation’s three-year grant will support the creation of a Lab Fellows Program, an 18-month virtual global residency for ten exceptionally promising professionals from around the world (performers, producers, directors, writers, scholars, activists) working at the intersection of performance and politics. The cohort will include exceptional GU students and alumni in addition to others from around the world, in particular those working in conflict zones and in under-resourced areas. The inaugural Lab Fellows cohort will be announced in March of 2017. Additionally, The Mellon Foundation grant will support The Lab’s work toward the launching of a major new Festival of Global Performance and Politics to take place annually in Washington, DC beginning in May 2019. Building on the Lab’s extensive global theater programming, the Festival will include performances, residencies, workshops, public forums with partners from across the Washington, DC area.

The Ford Foundation’s one-year seed grant will support The Lab’s work to shape and strengthen its governance, communication structures, global and local collaborations, and development strategies, including the establishment of the Lab Think Tank, constituted of global leaders in the worlds of the arts and policy who are collaborating regularly with the Lab. Funding from both foundations will support the immediate hire of a new staff member: a Communications and Global Connectivity Manager.

“At a time when the Lab’s work is engaging issues that have never felt more urgent – including migration and the refugee crisis, Islamophobia and racism, the legacy of slavery at Georgetown and beyond, climate and the environment and others – we are profoundly grateful for this vital support from the Mellon and Ford Foundations,” says Lab Co-Founding Director Derek Goldman. “This support will significantly enhance our capacity to humanize political challenges through performance, to reach new audiences, and to help enable the next generation of global innovators to use their artistry in pursuit of a better, more just world.”