Theatre Alumna Rachel Lynett Receives Artists 360 Award
The Mid-America Arts Alliance recently announced the recipients of its 2019 Artists 360 Awards, recognizing 20 top performing, visual and literary artists from across Northwest Arkansas – including Department of Theatre alumna Rachel Lynett.
Artists 360, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, made possible through the support of the Walton Family Foundation, is a three-year pilot program that provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to individual artists of all disciplines in the greater Northwest Arkansas area.
Grants include learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and build sustainable careers, creating a network of leading regional artists.
Lynett is a queer Afro-Latinx playwright based in Arkansas. Her plays have been featured at Capital Repertory Theatre, Teatro Espejo, Theatresquared, Equity Library Theatre-Chicago, Talk Back Theatre, American Stage Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre.
Her play, Well-Intentioned White People, had its world premiere with Barrington Stage Company and the Michigan premiere with Matrix Theatre. Her play, Abortion Road Trip, produced by Theatre Prometheus, won best comedy at Capital Fringe and then was later an invited production the 2017 Page to Stage Kennedy Festival.
Lynett is currently writing a bilingual play about the Afro-Latinx experience in Northwest Arkansas and how it relates to the larger conversation around immigration.
Through interviews with some 20 members of the Latinx community, including half that identify as Afro-Latinx, she plans to focus on the question of "How can we be sure to include the Afro-Latinx community in regard to providing shelter and resources?"
Her play, set in Springdale, will be inspired by these interviews and a public reading of the play is planned in the summer of 2020 with a facilitated "talkback" to be led by community leaders in Springdale.
"Rachel is a phenomenal playwright and this award comes as no surprise," said Michael Riha, chair of the Department of Theatre. "Her work is compelling and explores important issues facing our community. We're excited for the upcoming reading and can't wait to see what Rachel has created with the support of this award."
Ash Micheel, theatre publicity manager
Department of Theatre
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