Co-Artistic Director Tracy Liz Miller Bids Farewell to Arizona Theatre Community
Tracy Liz Miller and Brenda Jean Foley, Co-Founders of The Bridge Initiative, recently released statements about the transition and future of the organization.
The difficult but necessary decision has been made to relocate to the northeast to be closer to family. My partner, now fiance, has accepted a position that makes this transition viable and we will make the full leap at the end of May. This will be a welcome chance to have our family of three in one location once again and this year of transition has been challenging to say the least.
I am so very proud of all that Brenda and I have accomplished since we began with a small seed-funding grant in 2015. The Phoenix Valley landscape has changed significantly and although we cannot take all the credit, as we’ve had so many willing and supportive advocates and partners join us, I can’t help but think that if we hadn’t stuck our noses into the scene armed with data, a mission and a vision encompassing The Bridge Initiative, the professional theatre landscape would not look as it does now in terms of representation and motivation. The calls for help from those that had already stuck their necks out there, only to have been dismayed one too many times, was what buoyed us at the start. And we now can count among our ranks some of the most talented, motivated, intelligent movers-and-shakers from an excitingly diverse background, lead by Board President Lindsey Gardner-Penner, that have a vision to continue to move this critical vision forward. It’s an exciting time for The Bridge Initiative, which is also what makes it so hard to leave, as it is really taking off!
My love and respect for Brenda Jean Foley will never fade. She said yes without hesitation when I pitched this idea and I’ve watched her grow into a remarkable leader in our field. And now with tremendous support, there is no end to what is possible with Brenda at the helm. As an artist, I have been tremendously impacted and as Brenda always says, once you see it, you can’t turn that part of you off. As I seek for my future position in academia and/or professional theatre, my decisions will be forever influenced by the work we took on in the Phoenix Valley. I am so very, very grateful.
– Tracy Liz Miller
I am honored and humbled to be transitioning into a solo version of the role of The Bridge Initiative’s producing artistic director that I have assumed as a duet for almost four years. My partnership with Tracy Liz Miller has been a tremendous gift and highlight of my life, both professionally and personally. She is an extraordinary woman and her copious talents will be missed acutely, though I have every confidence her fingerprints will continue to be on many of our projects, and her face will not be long absent.
But I wish to emphasize The Bridge Initiative is in strong shape. The organization Tracy and I launched in January 2015, and even the organization whose 501c3 was secured in October 2016, are shadows of the organization I am leading in the second half of 2018. We have a motivated, inspired board of directors and an active community of friends, allies, and associates. We have an audience base that is dedicated and growing. We have a mandate to tell stories that are not being heard, and we are receiving thanks for doing so. We are raising awareness and asking questions and sparking conversation. And our work continues full throttle.
In this time of transition, we are thankful for your support. I personally look forward to sustaining the programming you expect from The Bridge Initiative, insisting on quality, integrity, professionalism, intersectionality, and telling women’s stories that make us laugh, cry, scream in frustration, gasp in horror, applaud and rejoice – in short, that present the complexities of our humanity. The Bridge Initiative would not exist without Tracy’s tireless dedication, and passion and her legacy continues. I am thankful for the company she helped birth, and dedicated to leading it into its next chapter.
– Brenda Jean Foley