“CTC has recruited talented performers from Howard for decades. With the HU Arts Administration Fellowship, talented students are placed into roles in production, management, and administration. The Howard fellow is encouraged to grow, take risks, and gain experience working side by side with seasoned professionals behind the scenes of a major theatre company.”
–Peter Brosius, CTC Artistic Director
The leading theatre for young audiences in North America, Children’s Theatre Company, and Howard University, one of the top historically black universities (HBCU's) in the U.S., have partnered to create a year-long Fellowship for students and emerging graduates of Howard’s Theatre Arts Administration program to establish a pathway for future African American arts leaders to launch their professional theatre careers. Howard University's Department of Theatre Arts is an internationally acclaimed leader and producer of artistic merit. Fellows are hand-picked by Howard’s Theatre Arts Administration program for placement at Children’s Theatre Company. Howard University is notable for the versatility of theatre arts training, professional standard of production and the legacy of its influential alumni, faculty and staff. Some of the world’s leading African American artists in the theatre and entertainment industry have trained under the expertise of current and former esteemed Fine Arts faculty. Well-known alum include Phylicia Rashad, Taraji P. Henson, Anthony Anderson, Chadwick Boseman and Amber Iman.
Howard University Theatre Arts Administration Fellowship: The Howard Fellow is employed Full Time at Children’s Theatre Company for a full season, working with Senior Staff leaders in departments throughout the company to gain hands-on professional theatre management experience with access to mentorship, professional, and leadership development opportunities.
2018 - 2019 Howard University Fellow: Elbi Elm
Elbi Elm is the fifth fellow hand-picked by the Howard University Theatre Arts Administration program. Elbi Elm comes to CTC after a very unique entrance into the arts. “Upon graduating high school, I enlisted in the United States Air Force, although I learned more about myself as a leader, a single mother, and a service member, I lost the ability to exercise my creativity,” reflects Elbi.
After serving nine years, Elbi was accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) Performing Arts Program where she performed in the first virtual reality musical Say it with Music, directed a full production of Danai Gurira’s ECLIPSED, and earned a Student-Emmy award as a member of the writing staff for the first collegiate-level, student-produced, live-production, multi-camera sitcom The Buzz. But the role she most appreciated was as President of the Multicultural Alliance Theatre (MAT). Under her leadership, the organization provided students with an opportunity to exhibit their innovative talents and promote diversity throughout the university.
The production and marketing team at Howard University on opening night of their Fall production ‘In the Red and Brown Water’ Elbi Elm was accepted as a transfer student into the Theatre Arts Administration program at Howard University. “Howard University’s mission and core values aligned with my own personal values and core beliefs,” stated Elbi. “I knew I wanted to surround myself among avid and motivated students of color, who like me, wanted to grow and develop their creative abilities.” While at Howard, Elbi has further refined her leadership capabilities as an assistant production manager and as a marketing manager where she learned all about running schedules, event planning, brand development, and public relations. “The professors at Howard really helped me focus on what my interests are, and how to focus them into an obtainable career goal.”
2017 - 2018 Howard University Fellow: Paige Reynolds
Prior to starting their fellowship at CTC, Paige worked on arts education grants and other city arts projects at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. After working in administrative and production type roles in other organizations and projects, Paige wanted to focus on education, Neighborhood Bridges, and teaching artist skills heavily throughout the fellowship. They have been gaining hands-on teaching artist experience in Neighborhood Bridges classrooms throughout the season, teaching at Whittier International Schools and Jefferson Community School with experienced Bridges co-teachers and teaching one residency by herself at Jenny Lind Elementary School. They have also attended workshops and trainings with the Bridges team on culturally competent teaching and Islamophobia. As a turn back to strengthening her production skills, Paige supported the rehearsal period of The Wiz, a co-production of CTC and Penumbra Theater Co., as part of the stage management team. Paige has also spent time co-coordinating community programs such as ACT Pass, a program providing economically accessible theatre tickets to community organizations, and a Somali Family Arts Night co-produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Paige is currently assistant teaching in the CTC Theatre Arts Training Institute and on the planning team for the annual theatre career expo hosted at the Guthrie Theater.
2016 - 2017 Howard University Fellow: Raegan Henderson
Involved in multiple facets of theatre since high school, Raegan has experienced everything from lead actress to stage manager, lighting designer to event planner. After working in the grants department of the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities while at Howard, Raegan devoted her first half of the Arts Management Fellowship to experience CTC’s development and fundraising department. Jumping in as Volunteer Coordinator for the Curtain Call Ball, Raegan was soon planning donor cultivation events such as Tech Tours, Junior Producer Events, and Opening Night Receptions for donor families. She also supports CTC’s Access department and leads audience engagement events, back-stage learning tours and talk-backs for community groups such as the students at North Community High School where Raegan supported a theater arts residency at the school with artist Sonja Parks. Raegan took part in the development team’s Annual Fund project, ‘Give to the Max Day’, running an acquisition and recapture focused campaign, writing appeals, and learning about donor cultivation and solicitation strategies. Raegan continues to support community access for youth and family groups attending CTC through the ACT Pass program, developing improved processes to sustain economic access for service organizations in the Twin Cities. Raegan is currently Stage Managing a teen show in CTC’s Theatre Arts Training program and focusing on work with the Marketing Department and Strategic Planning with CTC’s Managing Director for the second half of the Fellowship. She is on the planning team for an inclusive career expo at the Guthrie Theater and has already made a CTC staff presentation on the origins of stereotypes of the black community.
2015 - 2016 Howard University Fellow: Adarra Davis
Adarra started her fellowship as a Production Assistant for the world premiere of Akeelah and the Bee, then stepped into a hands-on production management role for CTC's largest fundraiser of the year, the Curtain Call Ball. Gaining exposure to CTC's Theatre Arts Training program, Adarra stage managed a high school student show, Laramie Project, and attended professional development trainings on topics such as gender inclusion and the impacts of trauma on brain development. Continuing to focus on events, Adarra coordinated a Howard Alumni reception, mentored by CTC's Development Director, and teamed up with CTC's Associate Production Manager to plan and produce a wildly successful 50th Anniversary “All Access” Open House community event, and coordinated a Tech Tour for CTC’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid production. Adarra devoted time observing CTC's teaching artist residencies in the schools and in the community, taking on a mentorship role with theater students at North High School, and gained experience with CTC's producer and company manager on casting and contracting local, national, and international artists. Adarra created a presentation for CTC staff on racial disparities within the arts and the experience of a predominantly white theater as a young black female arts administrator. Adarra continued at CTC through the Fall as the Curtain Call Ball Coordinator for the development department.
2014 - 2015 Howard University Fellow: Tevin Giddens
The first fellow in the program, Tevin broke new ground and gained experience by joining the Marketing team for hands-on experience and strategic planning for CTC's season-long community outreach and partnership development. Sharing his talents developed at Howard, Tevin assistant directed a CTC show for very young audiences, mentored by CTC's Artistic Director, Peter Brosius. Tevin received additional professional development and leadership skills through workshops on-site at CTC and off-site at YWCA's racial justice program and at Minnesota Council on Nonprofit's Leadership conference. With additional mentorship from CTC's Director of Access and Inclusion, Tevin joined Staff Diversity committee sessions to address and discuss biases in stories and productions for young audiences. Towards the end of his fellowship, Tevin created a two part presentation for CTC staff on the intersectionality, the experiences people of color in the arts and on institutional change and became a strong advocate for equity and inclusion on the artistic side as well as in outreach and education programming.
CLICK here for more information about Howard University’s Theatre Arts Administration Department
CTC’s Howard University Theatre Arts Administration Fellowship is a dedicated program of Children’s Theatre Company’s ACT One initiative, made possible with generous support from:
Wenda Weekes Moore