The Flea Receives New Funding

General Support Funds To Build Capacity

NEW YORK, NY (Thursday, November 17, 2022) – The Flea is proud to announce that Open Society Foundations has become a new funding partner supporting the theater’s renewed mission to uplift and nurture the Black, Brown and queer artists. In October 2022, the Open Society Foundation granted The Flea $100K grant to support general operating expenses at the organization as it continues to build capacity since its relaunch in fall of 2021.

“We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to cultivate new funding partners like Open Society Foundations during this critical moment in the organization’s development. General capacity support allows for our team to collectively decide on the capacity priorities that will allow the organization to build, grow and become sustainable. – Renee K. Smith, Interim Executive Director

The Flea is dedicated to nurturing safe spaces for Black, Brown and queer artists to experiment, create and house dynamic works and with this funding from the Open Society Foundations, The Flea will continue to build on the momentum of its inaugural season that cultivates spaces for Black, brown and queer creatives and their audiences to connect. As they prepare for their 2023 season which includes two world premieres, HANG TIME, written and directed by Pulitzer finalist, Zora Howard and cheeky little brown, written and starring, Nkenna Akunna, its annual Juneteenth commissions featuring five artists showcasing work across the city, performances from its resident companies, The Fled and Emerge 125 and its annual house party, The Flea is grateful for funding partners who continue to invest their time and financial support in its vision.

About The Flea:
The Flea Theater is a prolific NYC-based company founded in 1996 by three downtown artists who set out to “raise a joyful hell in a small space.” In 2021, The Flea refounded itself with a new mission and core values through collaborative efforts with CJAM. Our new operational model exemplifies our investment in artists and social equity and embraces our experimental, downtown NYC artistic heritage.

Our work with CJAM included a restorative partnership design process with 13 of The Flea’s former resident artists; DEI training for our Board of Directors, Executive Leadership and Board development; and a visioning process that helped to collaboratively design The Flea’s new organizational model and mission. The Flea’s new mission is: To invest in experimental art by Black, Brown, and queer folks. We provide space, financial support and producing partnership so that they may develop and share their vision in community with audiences.

The Flea is committed to programs and and operations that are Human centered; Anti-Racist & Anti-oppressive; Collaborative; Innovative; Sustainable; and Transparent.

The Flea has produced more than 160 world premieres in its 25-year history, earning many awards including two Obies and a Special Drama Desk. Previous Flea productions that have become part of the theatrical canon include Ellen McLaughlin’s The Trojan Women, Will Eno’s Oh, the Humanity, Thomas Bradshaw’s Fulfillment, Edward Iskandar’s The Mysteries and NSangou Njikam’s Syncing Ink.

Learn more about The Flea and Flea Leadership at