YOUNG VIC and JAMIE WILDMAN
The Young Vic is a leading producing theatre, based in London but with an international outlook. Through form-defying new work, reimaginings of classics, films, digital projects and discussion series, we attract large and diverse audiences to our home on The Cut in Waterloo. We are deeply embedded in our local community through our sector-leading Taking Part programme, which engages over 15,000 people every year with projects from workshops to onstage performances and which sees us give away 10% of our tickets free to schools and local residents, irrespective of box office demand. Our Directors Program, the only scheme of its kind, offers early-career directors a unique opportunity to develop their craft and forge connections with their peers. Skills workshops, peer-led projects, paid assistant directing roles and access to the Genesis Directors Network allow the next generation of directing talent to thrive irrespective of background. Together, our programming, Taking Part and the Directors Program create a vibrant artistic life within our building and beyond.
In 2018, Jamie was a participant in the Young Vic’s Taking Part programme, working on the original development of Carnation for a Song, a community theatre project for older LGBTQ+ Londoners. After the final sharing, the cast agreed that the production should have a future life as a way to share their stories and raise awareness of the challenges facing older queer people who have paved the way for increased tolerance. With no funds available, Jamie offered to support the project herself, donating £20,000 – her first philanthropic gift to an arts organisation. Her gift allowed Taking Part to restage the production with 20 LGBQ people aged 50+ in spring 2019 with performances at the Young Vic, Tate Lates and Vaults Festival. Jamie’s remarkable story – from being a beneficiary of the theatre’s community work to becoming one of its biggest funders – has inspired many current supporters and prospects to renew and deepen their engagement with the Young Vic, ensuring that the benefits of her generosity will continue for many years to come.
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director & CEO, Young Vic:
“We are overjoyed that Jamie has been shortlisted for the Individual Philanthropy Award. Her journey to the heart of the Young Vic family has inspired us profoundly, showing that anything is possible when arts organisations open themselves to everyone’s stories. She perfectly embodies the generosity, diversity and commitment of our supporters: thousands of individuals, grantmakers and companies who share our desire to make work that reflects our community, that catalyses debate and that speaks to who we are. Now more than ever, philanthropy is the lifeblood of the arts, and gifts like Jamie’s enable us to look to the future, confident that our vision for the theatre of tomorrow is in reach.”
“While I was recovering from six months of chemo, I ran across a social media post for a workshop at the Young Vic. I was hooked on the project straight away. Honestly, I still think of my financial involvement as pretty selfish: I couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell my – our – history, to sing, and to share my pride with as many people as possible. Thanks to Megan Cronin and Joe Atkins, the director and MD, I was able to step away from my cancer and focus on something very special. It was therapeutic theatre and it has changed my life.”