ATCA’s second annual Edward Medina Prize applications open through August 11, 2023

ATCA’s second annual Edward Medina Prize applications open through August 11, 2023

Edward Medina

New York — The American Theatre Critics Association announces that entries are open for the second annual Edward Medina Prize for Excellence in Cultural Criticism. The application deadline is Friday, August 11, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

This award is for theater critics and journalists in the United States from under-represented groups who write about the arts and its role in highlighting people from various cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

All applicants will be notified of their application status by early October, and the Medina Prize will be presented in November.

The purposes of the prize are to (1) cultivate relationships between ATCA and diverse critics, (2) encourage increased readership of cultural criticism composed by diverse writers, and (3) offer monetary support for critics from under-represented groups.

The honor includes a $1,000 cash prize, one free year of membership to ATCA, and financing to subsidize travel costs to the annual ATCA convening in November.

The short application asks for a brief bio and up to three writing samples, which can be op-eds, long-form reviews, essays, or feature articles. A link to that application is available on ATCA’s website.

The judges reviewing applications include theater, journalism, and communications professionals. Among them are Claudia Alick, founder of Calling Up Justice; Wei Huan Chen, journalist; Mirla Criste, theater professional and professor; Lydia Fort, stage director and professor at Emory University; Russell G. Jones, actor and Ensemble Studio Theatre board member; Alexandra Meda, artistic director of Studio Luna and director of engagement for the National New Play Network; Yura Sapi, founder of LiberArte and Arts Administrators of Color board member; and Mashaun Simon, marketing and public relations manager at the Alliance Theatre.

ATCA awarded the inaugural Edward Medina Prize for Excellence in Cultural Criticism to Brittani Samuel, a Caribbean-American arts journalist, theater critic, and co-editor of 3Views on Theater. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, Broadway News, Elle, Glamour, Observer, Vice, and other outlets. She is an alumna of the BIPOC Critics Lab and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute.

ATCA named the prize in honor of Edward Medina, a proud Nuyorican, whose well-established life within the arts and entertainment industry included work as a recognized and award-winning producer, director and author. Medina also was a critic and ATCA member who served on the Executive Committee and the Membership and Belonging, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion committees until his death in 2021.

Medina emphasized the need for increasing diversity within theatrical production and criticism and sought to provide fresh opportunities and support for new critics finding their calling to this vital field. To learn more about Edward Medina, please visit his website.

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