The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition hosted a digital presentation of the 2020 VintAge Award, which celebrates the voice and vision of women in the arts and media as they age, on Saturday, November 14 via Zoom.
See photos below!
The 2020 Elsa Rael VintAge Award honoree was Martha Richards, the Founder and President of WomenArts, originally The Fund for Women Artists, an affiliate member organization of the Coalition. The award was presented to Ms. Richards by Dame Rosemary Squire, Co-Founder of Ambassador Theatre Group and Trafalgar Entertainment and the first woman to be named UK Entrepreneur of the Year.
The event was co-hosted by Avis Boone and Yvonne Curry, Co-Presidents of the Coalition, along with Shellen Lubin and Mary Hodges, Co-Presidents of the League of Professional Theatre Women, the organization which founded the Coalition through the concerted efforts of Elsa Rael for whom the award is named, was also be in attendance.
The ceremony included speakers who have worked with Ms. Richards throughout her illustrious career.
This Week from the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition
THE WOMEN IN THE ARTS & MEDIA COALITION
2020 VintAge Award
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14
3 pm East Coast
12 noon West Coast
Dame Rosemary Squire will present the 2020Elsa Rael VintAge Award recipient to Martha Richards, Founder of WomenArts. Martha has dedicated her life to women in the arts at every stage of their career, around the world, and always with an eye to Diversity and Inclusion.
Micki Grant is a multi-award-winning composer, lyricist, playwright, librettist, singer, and actress. Ms. Grant has been involved in the creation of some 18 theatrical productions, five of them on Broadway. With the long-running Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, in which she also starred, she became the first woman to win a Grammy Award for the score of a Broadway musical. She also received Tony nominations for book, music, and lyrics. Read more here.
Richarda Abrams, daughter of the late Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams (musician/composer/visionary/co-founder of the Association for The Advancement of Creative Musicians) is a three-time AUDELCO award-winning actress, singer, playwright, and producer of First By Faith: The Life Of Mary McLeod Bethune, which received the 2019 AUDELCO VIV Award for Solo Performance of the Year. Read more here.
The Oral History Project is an ongoing program of the League of Professional Theatre Women that chronicles and documents the contributions of significant theatre women in all fields. Founded and produced for 26 years by the late Betty Corwin, the Oral History Project is currently produced for the League by Ludovica Villar-Hauser.
The League of Professional Theatre Women’s Oral History Project has previously featured interviews with such notables as Billie Allen, Kia Corthron, Tyne Daly, Carmen de Lavallade, Christine Ebersole, Angela Lansbury, Baayork Lee, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Frances McDormand, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera, Daryl Roth, Mercedes Ruehl, Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, among many other theatrical legends.
You can watch a previous iteration of Oral History with Judith Light and Leigh Silverman on Monday, December 7th at 5:30p. Register HERE.
This program is made possible, in part, with funds from the NYS Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The Oral History Project also enjoys continued support from the Edith Meiser Foundation.
Dame Rosemary Squire Will Present the Elsa Rael VintAge Award to Martha Richards
Dear Women in the Arts & Media Coalit,
The Women in the Arts and Media Coalition will honor Martha Richards, the Founder and President of WomenArts, with its 2020 Elsa Rael VintAge Award in an online ceremony on Saturday, November 14 from 12 noon- 2 p.m. Pacific Time (3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time).
The award will celebrate Richards' advocacy for women in the arts and media as they age. The online event will feature friends and colleagues from various phases of her 45-year career, including Dame Rosemary Squire, one of the most prominent women in British theatre, and Paul Tetreault, the Director of the historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Tickets are $10for Coalition members/$15 for non-members and can be purchased on Eventbrite.
Richards saw an article in the NY Times indicating that the award-winning British actress, Glenda Jackson, was involved in a theatre company in London called the Women's Playhouse Trust, which aimed to bring feminist perspectives to the theatre profession.
Richards promptly wrote to Jackson and offered to use her vacation time to work with the company as a volunteer administrator. Jackson forwarded her resume to Rosemary Squire, who was working as the company's administrator, and Richards ended up spending several inspiring weeks working on the first Women's Playhouse Trust production, a revival of Aphra Behn's The Lucky Chance, starring Alan Rickman and Harriet Walter at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
The conversations that Richards had with Rosemary Squire and her colleagues, Sue Parrish and Jules Wright, had a profound impact on Richards. Since the Women's Playhouse Trust team had recognized that many talented women were not getting work in mainstream theatres, they had decided to create more opportunities for them by building a professional company of their own. Ten years later Richards created WomenArts with a similar goal of creating more opportunities for marginalized women artists by helping them get more access to grants and other resources.
Meanwhile, in 1992 Rosemary Squire co-founded Ambassador Theatre Group, which went on to become the world's number one live-theatre company with over 50 venues in Britain, the US and Europe. Squire and her husband/business partner, Sir Howard Panter, topped The Stage 100 for seven consecutive record-breaking years. In 2007 Rosemary was awarded an OBE for Services to Theatre and in 2018 she received a Damehood for Services to Theatre and Philanthropy. Squire is currently co-founder, Joint CEO and Executive Chair of Trafalgar Entertainment, a premium international live entertainment business.
Squire has remained a strong advocate for women throughout her career. When she accepted her Damehood, she said, "I hope that what I've been able to achieve will convince young entrepreneurs, particularly women just starting out, that they can succeed in this industry - and that it can be a fascinating and rewarding journey."
The event is a benefit for the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, which has been a strong partner of WomenArts. In 2013 the Coalition took over the publication of the monthly theatre and film/video funding newsletters (now called #StageOpps and #ScreenOpps), which WomenArts had published for the preceding 12 years.