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Scholarships and Awards

Showcase: Scholarships and Awards


Mickey Miners Award

Mickey Miners, former Curator of Performing Arts for Children at the Detroit Institute of the Arts
The IPAY board of directors is proud to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the Mickey Miners award. IPAY's highest award is presented annually, at Showcase, to a person who has made a significant impact on the field of the performing arts for young audiences.


The Mickey Miners award is given to someone who has contributed significantly over an extended period of time to the field of performing arts for youth. The awardee can be anyone involved in the field: a presenter, an agent, an artist, a producer, an administrator, a teaching artist – any person who exemplifies the energy, vision, experience, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of those who deeply care about positively impacting the lives of young people with live performances that entertain and enlighten.

Your nomination should include a resume or CV, as well as a written statement from the nominator as to why you feel this person deserves the award. Contact information – phone number and email address – for both nominator and nominee, should also be included.

Please send your nominations to IPAY ( with all of the above information by November 18. If you have questions, please contact Susan Crofton, IPAY General Manager, at or at 267-690-1325.

Previous Mickey Miners Award Recipients:


  • 2016Cheryle Hansen 
  • 2015Dave Brown
  • 2014—Mary Rose Lloyd
  • 2013—Saskia Janse and Onny Huisink
  • 2012—Jim Morrow
  • 2011—David Gonzalez
  • 2010—Michael Holden, Alan Liddell, Tony Reekie
  • 2009—Heather Spicuzza
  • 2008—Kim Peter Kovac
  • 2007—Gary Gaydos
  • 2006—Carol North
  • 2005—Susan Murphy
  • 2004—Brian Joyce
  • 2003—Maranne Welch


Victor Award

Victor Podagrosi, Child's Play Touring Theatre Founding Director

The People's Choice Victor Award was established in the late 1990s as a way of recognizing excellence in performing arts for young people. In the early years, the award was voted on by Showcase technicians and was a sort of 'congeniality prize.' For the last four years, the award has been a 'people's choice' of favorite performances from the Showcase.

The Victor Award was originated to perpetuate the memory of Victor Podagrosi, founding director of Child's Play Touring Theatre of Chicago and ALWAYS an audience favorite. Victor died of a heart attack in September 1995 during a company board meeting. He was 41. Past winners of the audience choice Victor Award include:

  • 2016— Arch 8/Erik Kaiel for their production of Tetris — The Netherlands 
  • 2015— Macrobert Art Center for their production of Titus — Scotland
  • 2014— Theatergroep Kwatta for their production of Manxmouse—Netherlands
  • 2013—Patch Theatre Company for their production of Me and My Shadow—Australia
  • 2012—Susanna Hamnett for her production of Nearly Lear—Canada
  • 2011—Windmill Theatre for their production of Grug—Adelaide, SA Australia
  • 2010—Visible Fictions for their production of Shopping for Shoes—Glasgow, UK
  • 2009—Puppet State Theatre Company for their production of The Man Who Planted Trees—Cleveland, OH
  • 2008—Speeltheatre Holland for their production of Pero or Mysteries of the Night—Tampa, FL
  • 2007—Huis aan de Amstel for their production of Wolf—Cleveland, OH
  • 2006—Det lille Turnéteater for their production of Hamlet—Philadelphia, PA
  • 2005—LaJoye Productions for Snowflake—Cleveland, OH

Performances selected by the Showcase Selection process are placed on ballots made available to all Showcase attendees. Attendees will find ballots for each day's performances in their packets they receive at registration. Their rankings are averaged during the final Showcase party and the award runner-ups and winner are announced. The actual Award is a trophy made by the same company that creates the Oscars each year.



Jim Rye Fellowship


 Download the 2017 application here


The International Performing Arts for Youth's Jim Rye Fellowship offers an outstanding opportunity for graduate students in the fields of TYA directing, management, curating, and education to be involved with the inner workings of a major performing arts for young audiences conference. After a competitive application and review process, Jim Rye fellows are provided with a yearlong membership in IPAY as well as Showcase conference registration where they will be part of various workshops and panel conversations of the Kindling Program together with the Porter Residency Fellows, as well as a modest $250 stipend (for those students not located in the host city)  to help toward travel expenses. In addition, mentors with experience in the student's field of interest help the scholar navigate the conference and facilitate the student's introduction to other professionals in the field, allowing them important networking opportunities. In addition,  IPAY will endeavor to foster a stronger link between the Rye fellow and their educational institutions with the local IPAY member organizations.  IPAY feels it’s paramount, and is excited, to support the development of stronger relationships with the Rye Fellows, their respective educational  institutions and IPAY members and their respective organizations as we all work toward building the field of performing arts for young audiences.

2016 Rye Fellows at Showcase in Montreal, Canada


In return, the fellows provide valuable input for the IPAY organization and TYA field at large through various research and mapping projects that contribute to more insightful information of the TYA field in North America. These relationships will  be developed on an individual basis. Fellows may also be asked to assist the conference organizers, helping the conference run smoothly by providing help as needed, taking on projects such as assisting with registration, serving as liaison with artists, conducting audience surveys, working the IPAY booth and serving as reporters or recorders for educational sessions and discussions.

The late Jim Rye was the Artistic Director of the Birmingham Children's Theatre. Jim served on the Showcase Committee for many years, his company performed and exhibited, and he served as a mentor for many up and coming professionals in the field. We honor him by supporting the up and comers in today's ever expanding field of performing arts for young people.


2014 Fellow Jason Gerhard says about his experience as a Jim Rye Fellow:

"IPAY for me was many things: an artist retreat, a performance showcase, a producer's conference, a TYA practitioner's home, a place for national and international artists to discuss, present, and meet, a land for artists and presenters to view new and possible trends, and a fire pit that holds a new spark. IPAY provided me the opportunity to connect with fellow teachers, artists, and international practitioners. It allowed me to view new works and engage in and witness profound discussions on the state and trends of the field. It also provided me hope. It provided me vision. As an artist, my own perspective continued to develop and it engaged me with new thoughts and ideas. I might not see the immediate results all the time, but within me there is always an idea burning and IPAY is a home for igniting and stoking that flame while being surrounded by eager and encouraging artists. I look forward to the next year when I can be filled with the wonder these artists bring."


The Colleen Porter Artist Development Award


Download the Call for Applicants 


Entering its fourth year, IPAY is proud to continue to support development of Emerging Artists in the field of performing arts for young audiences with a facilitated residency opportunity in honor of Colleen Porter. This juried award supports artistic development and is linked to the annual Kindling focus at IPAY Showcase.

Selected artists are led by an international professional from our field facilitating the Showcase experience and intersecting with the artists each day to discuss how the experience may be relevant to their own practice, to share ideas, to facilitate development and to help establish connections. Part of the intent with the framework is that there will be discussion and support that exists beyond Showcase that may develop into a longer-term support network for artists.

Each year, IPAY supports the cost of Showcase registration, provides travel support and accommodation for Showcase for up to two selected artists.

Interested artists, who have been in the field of for at least 5 years, demonstrate need for financial assistance, and are able to attend the full IPAY Showcase Conference in Madison, Jan 18-21, 2017 are invited to complete an application by November 18, 2016. In order to further promote ongoing, long-term development of the artist, all applicants must be endorsed or recommended by a presenter, agent or artist who will whom will also be attending Showcase 2017.

Through this distinguished honor, Colleen's innovative, generous, and nurturing spirit will live on in the artists of the future. 

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Our membership comprises a worldwide network of artists, producers, presenters, agents, educators, and students. Our mission is to create opportunities for key stakeholders to engage around support of performing arts experiences for young audiences. Click here to learn more.
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