Cody Renard Richard created the scholarship program to diversify the pipeline of talent. (Photo: Ronald "Rdot" Smith)

The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship program has named its first 15 recipients.

The program, a joint effort between the Broadway Advocacy Coalition and Richard, a Broadway stage manager, is meant to support theater makers who are Black, Indigenous or people of color and are pursuing off-stage careers. As part of the program, which starts this spring, each student will receive $4,000 to each student in grant money, as well as mentorship on topics such as leadership and social justice. 

The Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation, established by “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller and his partner, has also taken on two of the scholarship recipients who are interested in producing. The Seller-Lehrer Producing Scholars will receive additional mentorship and support through Adventureland, Seller’s production company. 

“As we continue the work of creating transformative contributions to the future of our arts community, we are excited to partner with the Cody Renard Scholarship Program and BAC. Their experience and our resources will provide a powerful bridge to new talents for our industry,” said Brandon Victor Dixon, a new director of the Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation.

The first cohort of the program includes Jasmine Canjura (New York University), Auzsa Carberry-Walters (University of Central Florida), Tesia Childs (Columbia University), Avery Evans (University of California, Irvine), Jordan Fleming (Columbia University), Moses Garcia (Carnegie Mellon University), Jason Goodwin (New York University), Gabrielle Kunzika (University of Connecticut), Alex Luong (University of California, San Diego), David Parker (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Brillian Qi-Bell (University of Iowa), Anabel Manuela Romero (Columbia University), Annelise Salazar (San Diego State University), Gabrielle Scott (Georgia Southern University) and Joshua Wyatt (Carnegie Mellon University).

The scholarship program initially intended to offer $1,500 grants to each recipient, but was able to increase the amount to $4,000 due to overwhelming community support.

“I’m blown away by the talent, drive and power that each of our applicants possess. Our selection process was quite arduous and competitive, but we have selected an astounding cohort for the inaugural year,” Richard said.