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Become a Review Panelist for Volunteer Scholarship Applications

Are you passionate about fostering diversity and inclusion in the arts community? Do you believe in the transformative power of improvisation as a tool for personal and professional growth? If so, we invite you to join us in a rewarding opportunity to serve as a volunteer on our scholarship application review panel.

Empire Arts Collective, in collaboration with Windhaus Improv, LLC, is excited to announce the launch of two new scholarship programs aimed at promoting equity and accessibility in the world of improvisational theater. As we embark on this journey, we are seeking dedicated individuals who share our commitment to creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for artists from historically marginalized communities.

By volunteering to serve on our panel, you will have the chance to play a crucial role in shaping the future of our scholarship programs and empowering deserving individuals to pursue their artistic passions. Your insights and expertise will help us identify candidates who will benefit most from these opportunities, ensuring that our programs reach those who need them most.

This panel will review all applications for 2024 programming. This is a rolling application with no deadline. You can apply here by completing this Google form.

About the programs:

Adult improv class diversity scholarship: For each adult improv class offered by Empire Arts Collective, a slot will be held for a recipient of a diversity scholarship (additional slots may be held in the future, based on need and community response). This opportunity is intended to offer assistance and promote equity within EAC improv classes for folks from communities that have been historically marginalized and often disadvantaged. Eligible applicants for this scholarship include:

  1. Applicants who self-identify as being a member of historically disadvantaged and/or marginalized communities (BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, disabled and/or neurodiverse, etc.)
  2. Family members of panelists, people in romantic relationships with panelists, and panelists themselves are not eligible for this scholarship.

EAC Improv Utopia Camp Scholarship: The nonprofit organization Camp Improv Utopia is partnering with Empire Arts Collective to sponsor an improviser in our community to attend one of their camps (more information about their organization and programming is available here). This presents an incredible professional/artistic development opportunity for folks to attend workshops taught by industry experts and network with an international improv community. This opportunity is intended to offer assistance, continue diverse representation across all IU camps, and gift improv to someone in need. Improvisers who attend Improv Utopia camps often come back to their communities with a better understanding of the bigger improv community, best practices, and they become even stronger members of the community. 

This year’s scholarship (2024) is for Camp IU Yosemite, located at Camp Calvin Crest in Oakhurst, CA from September 27th – September 30th, 2024. The scholarship will cover all tuition expenses for one student (including 11 hours of workshops from master improv teachers, performances, camp activities, lodging [shared cabins with private bathrooms, showers, and electricity], food [special dietary and allergy-friendly meals are available]. This scholarship does NOT include: Lodging materials (Linens, pillows, and towels) or add-ons (Yosemite trip, Saturday workshop, or merch), or transportation costs associated with getting to and from Camp (Carpool options with other EAC attendees will be available!) Eligible applicants include:

  1. Those who have participated in EAC improv programming, including our class series, Sharks Barksley, and/or SHIFT.
  2. Those who are in good standing with EAC and who adhere/have adhered to our community guidelines.
  3. Priority will be given to applicants from historically disadvantaged and/or marginalized communities (BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, disabled and/or neurodiverse, etc.) but can also include those at low income levels or who are experiencing financial hardship.
  4. Per IU’s request, priority will also be given to applicants to have never attended an IU retreat.
  5. Applicants shall not be excluded based on their level of need.
  6. Family members of panelists, those in romantic relationships with panelists, and panelists themselves are not eligible for this scholarship.

Required panelist qualifications: 

  • Must self-identify as members of (a) historically marginalized communit(ies) (BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, disabled and/or neurodiverse, etc.)
  • Must have some availability during the time ranges listed in the “time commitment” section of this letter
  • Any panel member who is related to or in a romantic relationship with an applicant must disclose this conflict and recuse themselves. 
  • Panelists cannot be awarded a scholarship
  • Panelists should not include current members of Sharks Barksley

Time commitment:

This commitment is for April – December 2024. The panel will review all applications for all 2024 programming where scholarships are provided. The panel will meet 6 times in 2024, for an approximate maximum of 2 hours per meeting (a max of 12 hours total for the year).

For each scholarship, this panel will conduct a meeting to review and discuss the applications and select an applicant after the final deadlines for each scholarship have passed. We anticipate these meetings will take no longer than 2 hours each and can take place via Zoom (or in person, if the panel prefers). Meetings will be scheduled based on panelist availability.
Panelists must have at least some availability during the time ranges listed below.

  • Intermediate Improv Class: Applicant must be selected between May 22nd and May 28th.
  • Basic Improv Intensive: Applicant must be selected between May 26th and June 1st
  • EAC Improv Utopia Camp Scholarship: applicant must be selected between June 1st and June 15th.
  • Basic Improv Class: Applicant must be selected between September 4th and September 10th
  • Intermediate improv intensive: Applicant must be selected between October 27th and November 2nd
  • Advanced Improv: Short Form Games Intensive: Applicant must be selected between November 24th and November 30th

To apply:

Please complete this Google form by no later than 4/21/24. You will be asked to attach a resume. https://forms.gle/8DAmtVqf4ih8jTeFA

Questions and contact:

For questions or for assistance with completing the form for whatever reason can reach out to EAC’s Improv Program Director Jessilee Windhaus at jessilee@empireartscollective.com.

More about Empire Arts Collective:

Empire Arts Collective is a Sacramento-based performing arts nonprofit with a mission to incubate unique, inclusive performing arts opportunities that create joy and community for a variety of experience levels. EIN 81-2974146

More about EAC: https://empireartscollective.org/about/
DEIA statement: https://empireartscollective.org/about/#deia
More about our improv program: https://empireartscollective.org/improv/

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