NEW HAVEN – In an early morning press conference on Monday, the Yale Drama School announced that it would begin offering a Masters of Fine Arts degree in grant writing and fundraising.
The new program is set to kickoff in the 2020-2021 academic year with a cohort of eight grant writers and fundraisers. The ambitious group will work alongside the school’s renowned acting program to craft thoughtfully worded and overly detailed applications for grants around the world. The school has already begun accepting applications for the program.
“This is a big new step for us,” said Wernor Hickey, the MFA program’s spokesperson. “One of the most oft-overlooked vocations in the theater and performing arts industry is that of grant writer and fundraiser. We aim to bring the rigorous standards of the Yale School of Drama to this exciting and burgeoning new profession.”
Before this program, grant writers and fundraisers – often falling under the umbrella term of “development staff” – were largely an underpaid and unimportant part of non-profit theaters. That’s all set to change, says Hickey.
“This new program will immerse students in the rigorous and unrewarding life of a development director.” Hickey said with a pleasant sigh. “They’ll spend long hours in front of their computers, crafting language that is unnecessarily flowery and somehow also monotonously boring. They’ll do it all for grants that are either way out of their reach or so minuscule that it isn’t worth their time and effort.”
The MFA in Grant Writing program promises students job placement and job security directly after graduation, with salaried jobs beginning at $60,000 a year. This is a stark contrast from the school’s MFA in Acting, which promises no jobs whatsoever. The grant writing program has already received over 500 applications from students around the globe.