The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Funds LGBT-Positive Arts

The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation was founded in 1994 by the prize winning Off-Broadway playwright, novelist, and filmmaker Arch Brown, in memory of his 28-year life-partner Bruce Allen Brown, in order to promote works that "present LGBT life in a positive manner and are based on, or inspired by, a historical person, culture, event or work of art." (See Fundraising for LGBT). This historical perspective of the LGBT community is what drives the Foundation's grant making and gifts, particularly their playwriting competition.

Prizes for the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation's playwriting competition are $3,000 for first prize, $1,500 for second, and $500 for honorable mentions. What's more is there's no entry fee. The works must only be sure to adhere to the Foundation's criteria of what they consider "historical." They also have a production grant program that awards between $3,000 and $1,000 to various theater production companies around the country who are presenting LGBT-positive works that also have a strong and significant historical element. Past recipients have included Theater for the New City in New York, Seattle's Adonis Theater, and Pittsburgh Pride Theater.

The foundation also gives awards to short and full-length fiction with a LGBT historical perspective. These competitions tend to alternate with the playwriting competition and the awards hover around $1,000 or so.

The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation is a relatively small organization, but it has proven to be a steadfast supporter of the LGBT arts community. Its board and judging panel is composed of a variety of past Foundation award winners and an assortment of LGBT playwrights, editors, composers, historians, and professors. President James Waller is a writer, editor, and contributor to many seminal gay and lesbian news outlets such as Out, OutWeek, and the Lambda Book Report. Interestingly he's also an advisory board founding member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Religious Archives Network.

It should go without saying that the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation is an inclusive organization, but it was also born out of a very personal connection to the LGBT arts community and honors a life-long relationship between two artists. Sadly, Arch Brown passed away in September of 2012, but the legacy of both men is retained with the continuing gifts and support the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation gives to the LGBT theater community.