Inspired by the late producer Craig Zadan, Pathway enables students in communities of color to work with industry professionals of color while performing works that encourage dialogue around racial equity. Schools selected to participate each receive a $10,000 grant to use toward production costs and professional mentors.
In 2022, five schools benefited from Pathway grants: Tri-Cities High School in Atlanta and Aiken High School in Cincinnati were the program’s first grant recipients, participating during the 2021-22 school year. Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta, Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Winton Woods High School in metro Cincinnati were chosen for the 2022-23 school year.
To celebrate and promote the launch of the Pathway pilot, ETF funded Tri-Cities High School to travel its award-winning production of Fela! to the 2022 International Thespian Festival, where the school performed to a crowd of 1,500 cheering Thespians and teachers. ETF’s financial support made it possible for Tri-Cities to attend the event and participate in international competitions for the first time ever — paving the way for several students to win Thespy Awards and earn scholarships.
For student participants, their Pathway experience opened their eyes to the possibilities of arts careers after high school and taught them the professionalism needed to work in the performing arts. “It showed me I am capable of more than I think. And that if I trust myself, I can achieve my dreams,” said one Tri-Cities student.
2022 funding for Pathway came from the Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee; Ohio Arts Council; and numerous private donors in honor of Zadan.