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Diane Lane and The Ziegfeld Club’s Liz Swados Inspiration Grant Opens to Applicants Starting April 29, 2019

Diane Lane and The Ziegfeld Club’s Liz Swados Inspiration Grant Opens to Applicants Starting April 29, 2019

The Ziegfeld Club, one of the first New York City performing arts charities to benefit women is thrilled to announce that the fourth Liz Swados Inspiration Grant will open to applicants beginning April 29, 2019. Created in 2016 and underwritten by actor Diane Lane, The Liz Swados Inspiration Grant serves to honor an influential female music educator in New York City through a $5,000.00 cash grant.
The application process for the Liz Swados Inspiration Grant will remain open from April 29 throughMay 24, 2019.
Diane Lane first partnered with The Ziegfeld Club on the Liz Swados Inspiration Grant in January 2016, shortly after Ms. Swados passed away. The Grant has previously been awarded to educators Rebecca Steinberg (2018), Laura Borgwardt (2017) and Cecilia Smith (2016).
Those interested in applying for the Liz Swados Inspiration Grant must submit their information by May 24, 2019, and must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Open to female teachers or teaching artists.
  • Primary field must be music education. (We realize that many teaching artists’ work is deeply interdisciplinary; however, music should be fundamental to your teaching in order to apply for this grant).
  • Must have at least five (5) years of teaching experience.
  • Must teach at least 20 hours a week.
  • Must live AND work in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island), and a resident of NYC for at least (1) one-year prior to the application.

Interested applicants can submit all application materials (see list below) via Dropbox by Friday, May 24, 2019 at 11:59pm EDT. The recipient will be chosen and notified in June 2019. 
The following application materials are required for consideration:

  • Resume including at least the past five years of applicants teaching experience
  • Two essay questions (totaling no more than one page)
  • What led you to teach music in New York City?
  • What is your music education philosophy?
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • One from a past or present employer or colleague
  • One from a past or present student

For more information about The Ziegfeld Club, Inc. or about the Liz Swados Inspiration Grant please visit
Perhaps best known for her Broadway and international smash hit Runaways, featuring Diane Lane, Elizabeth Swados composed, wrote, directed, and taught theater for over thirty years. Works include the Obie Award-winning Trilogy at La MaMa, Alice at the Palace with Meryl Streep at the New York Shakespeare Theater Festival and Groundhog, which was optioned by director Milos Forman for a film. Her work has been performed on Broadway and locations all over the world. She composed highly acclaimed dance scores for well-known choreographers in the US, Europe and South America, and scores to many films, including the documentary, Auf Wiedersehen, about a family searching for the truth about the Nazi participation in Vienna and the Jews who may have aided them. She was commissioned to write a musical theater piece about the notorious Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in Manhattan, as well as a musical evening of family theater featuring the poetry of Roald Dahl.
In conjunction with Forward Face, Ms. Swados released a children’s CD called Everyone is Different that has been distributed to three thousand schools around the country. She received the Ken Award, and a New York Public Library Award for her book My Depression: A Picture Book. Ms. Swados published a theatrical textbook, At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater, and a collection of poems through Hanging Loose Press. In her lifetime, Ms Swados received five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards, Guggenheim Fellowship, Ford Grant, Helen Hayes Award, Lila Acheson Wallace Grant and PEN Citation.

Described by The New York Times as one of “New York’s pioneering feminist institutions,” and “Broadway’s best kept secret,” The Ziegfeld Club is among the first not-for-profits in the Broadway community. Founded in 1936 by Billie Burke in honor of her late husband Florenz Ziegfeld, musical theater impresario and producer of the legendary Ziegfeld Follies. The organization was originally formed to provide aid to Ziegfeld Girls who had fallen on hard times. As all of the Ziegfeld Girls have now passed away, the Ziegfeld Club’s mission remains to support women of today’s musical theatre as well as to honor the preservation of theatre history in the Club’s treasured archives.
In addition to the Liz Swados Inspiration Grant, the Ziegfeld Club expanded its legacy of supporting women in the theatre by establishing The Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, a $10,000 grant and a year of professional mentorship awarded to an emerging female composer who compellingly demonstrates financial need, professional initiative, and outstanding artistic promise in musical theatre composition. 

How do I apply for this award? What are the requirements and criteria? Visit for submission guidelines and criteria. 
What is the deadline to apply? The final deadline for all materials is 11:59pm EDT on May 24, 2019. This deadline includes all letters of recommendation. 
Can my recommenders submit their letters independently? Please submit letters of recommendation in the same email as all other materials. 
What is the deadline for letters of recommendation? The final deadline for all materials, including letters of recommendation, is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 24, 2019. 
When will the finalists be notified? Finalists will be notified in June 2019.
Can I apply if I am a teaching artist, not a full-time schoolteacher? Yes, teaching artists are encouraged to apply, as long as you live and work in NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island). Teaching artists must work as a teacher at least 20 hours a week and meet the other eligibility requirements outlined above.
Are educators who work at performing arts companies (rather than in schools) eligible?Yes, as long as your position is dedicated to music education in NYC. 
Can a team of teachers apply? Each educator must be submitted individually to be considered for the grant. 
Are retired teachers eligible? No. The nominee must be a current, working teacher in NYC. 
Can I submit an inspiring teacher (not myself) as a candidate? No. Please share this information with the teacher, who can fill out the application herself.
Can I share on social media? Yes. Please spread the word on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms using the hashtags #LizSwados2019 and #TheZiegfeldClub 
Can I apply again next year? Yes. All applicants are welcome to apply again. 


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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