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Pegasus Theatre Chicago, currently hosting the 35th Annual Young Playwrights Festival, streaming through February 6, has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the Young Playwrights Festival 2023. This project will continue this Festival into its 36th year, allowing the voices of the next generation to be seen and heard in Chicago. The Annual Young Playwrights Festival project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “Pegasus Theatre Chicago is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

“We thank the National Endowment for the Arts for this grant,” said Pegasus Theatre Chicago’s Executive and Producing Director ILesa Duncan. “The timing of this grant is perfect as we are currently streaming the 35th Festival to audiences. The NEA’s grant also greatly supports our mission of hearing from Chicago’s young playwrights and sharing their stories.”

The Young Playwrights Festival, the oldest such festival in the United States, has for 35 years engaged and inspired high school students across Chicago by teaching them to craft one-act plays. Under the auspices of Pegasus Theatre Chicago, the winning teen playwrights’ productions are work-shopped and staged by industry professionals. The in-school programming that leads to the annual competition enhances language arts, encourages independent, high-level thinking, strong personal values and influences career development for Chicago’s teens. Tickets and more information on the Festival is available at

 For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit


Pegasus Theatre Chicago has been a mainstay in the Chicago theater community for more than four decades. Its mission is to champion new, authentic voices and produce boldly imaginative theatre primarily by and about black, indigenous or other people of color (BIPOC). The company promotes cultural equity while celebrating diversity, inclusion and first voice and is committed to initiating important conversations through the arts with strong community engagement and socially relevant programming, including the Young Playwrights Festival for high school-age scribes, which celebrates its 35th year this season. Pegasus Theatre Chicago has received 77 Joseph Jefferson Awards since its inception.

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