Meet our December 2019 Recipients
Karyme Garzón Mahmud
Arcade Diversity Scholarship
in honor of Terrence W. Black
About the scholarship
We believe that the best comedy reflects the diverse world in which it is presented, and we are dedicated to making our stages representative of our community. The Arcade Diversity Scholarship, in honor of Terrence W. Black through the generous support of his son, provides an opportunity for underrepresented voices in Pittsburgh to learn, practice, and perform comedy on the Arcade stage.
Scholarship recipients will receive a full education in improv comedy, which includes five 8-week sessions of classes, culminating in placement on a regularly-performing Arcade Student Team. Throughout the student’s time in classes, they will learn lessons that build confidence in public speaking, collaboration, and creative expression — all while being immersed in Arcade’s community of performing artists. The goal is to train a new generation of comedic artists that will work and play in Pittsburgh as part of Arcade Comedy Theater’s premier comedy institution.
Who is this scholarship for?
The Arcade Diversity Scholarship serves those that identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color; LGBTQIA+; or belong to underrepresented groups that may not have access to invest in a comedy education. You must be 18 years or older to enroll in Arcade Academy classes.
While Arcade Comedy Theater is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not lost focus on making our theater more inclusive. We are still actively fundraising for our Arcade Diversity Scholarship to make our stages more reflective of the community we serve.
Our theater has always celebrated Pride Month in June. But Pride cannot be celebrated if it is not intersectional. This year, half of all donations made to Arcade in June will be earmarked for our Diversity Scholarship fund. We will be using this time to expand this scholarship so that we may include more underrepresented voices in comedy, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
As our theater assesses its ability to re-open, we will be announcing a new round of scholarships with a revised timeline for applications.
Mission Statement on Inclusion
Arcade Comedy Theater believes that the best comedy reflects the diverse world in which it is presented. We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment to all artists, staff, and audience members who come through our doors. Arcade will take an active role to ensure equitable practices and remedy when there are disparities in our values. We understand that inclusion is a journey, and that while we work to do good today, we must also work to do better tomorrow.
If you have any questions about our mission of inclusion, please contact our DEAI Coordinator.
The application process:
- Complete the application form
- All applications are reviewed by our committee
- Candidates selected for an in-person interview by the announced deadline
- Interviews with committee members will occur at Arcade Comedy Theater at a predetermined time
- Scholarship recipient(s) will be announced and begin taking classes starting with the closest upcoming session
Our Scholarship Committee
- Abby Fudor, Managing Artistic Director
- Connor McCanlus, volunteer DEAI Coordinator
- Robin Hitchcock, Academy Manager
- In addition to the above Arcade personnel, the application review committee and interview committee includes a group of dedicated volunteers who are artists, educators, and leaders in their fields that reflect the communities to which this scholarship is directed
“My father was not an artist, but he took pride in supporting the arts; while my mother devoted her retirement to creating art, he devoted his retirement to being a patron of the arts. I honor his legacy by supporting emerging comedic artists. The importance of cultivating diverse voices is unambiguous in my professional work in tech. Diverse perspectives lead to better outcomes. An inclusive environment requires intent, commitment, and investment; with my hope channeled to enable each through this scholarship.”
— Tom Black, Arcade donor