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 Susan Crofton, IPAY Interim General Manager (susan@ipayweb.org) with all of the above information by November 1. If you have questions, please contact Susan at susan@ipayweb.org or at 267-690-1325.

Previous Mickey Miners Award Recipients:


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:

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

The 2015 Jim Rye application for Showcase in Philadelphia, January 21–24. Download the application here.

Front Row Kneeling: Yasu Theodore Ishida, David Morton, Su Wang / Standing: Danny Campos (Rye Fellowship Program Manager), Kelly Prestel, Rachel Desoto, Tamara Weisz, Hanife Schulte, Dave Peterson, Peg Schuler-Armstrong (IPAY Board President) and Jason Gerhard

The International Performing Arts for Youth's Jim Rye Fellowship offers an outstanding opportunity for graduate students 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 year long membership in IPAY, a Showcase conference registration, and a small travel stipend (if they do not live in the host city). 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 return, the fellows provide valuable assistance to 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.

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