ATCA’s third annual Edward Medina Prize applications open through August 16, 2024

ATCA’s third annual Edward Medina Prize applications open through August 16, 2024

Edward Medina

New York — The American Theatre Critics/Journalists Association (ATCA) announces applications open July 8 for the third annual Edward Medina Prize for Excellence in Cultural Criticism.

The application deadline is Friday, August 16, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

The Edward Medina Prize for Excellence in Cultural Criticism awards 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. 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 Edward Medina Prize is sponsored in part by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and The Ford Foundation.

The short application asks for a brief bio, a personal statement 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 for the 2024 prize represent theater, journalism, and communications professionals, including Wei Huan Chen (he/him), freelance writer and administrator at Clemson University; Eric Deggans (he/him), NPR’s TV critic and media analyst and an adjunct instructor at Duke University and Indiana University; Jamie Gahlon (she/her), Director and Co-Founder HowlRound Theatre Commons, a communications platform for theater makers; Dorothy Lennon (she/her), theater teacher and project manager for the Zora Neale Hurston Trust; and Jacquinn Sinclair (she/her), a widely published Boston-based critic and journalist who frequently contributes to WBUR.

ATCA has previously awarded two Edward Medina Prizes for Excellence in Cultural Criticism. The 2022 award went to Brittani Samuel (she/her), 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. And the 2023 award went to Gloria Oladipo (she/her), a New York-based journalist and playwright who hails from Chicago and whose work appears regularly in the Guardian and has appeared in The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Bitch Media, and other publications. She was a 2022 National Critics Institute fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, an opportunity she was selected for via the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy. She also is a 2023-2025 Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group Fellow and was a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and 2023 Seven Devils New Play Conference resident.

Medina (he/him) 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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