Winthrop University: Black Theatre Coalition Names Winthrop Student to Its Inaugural Class of Fellows
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Black Theatre Coalition Names Winthrop Student to Its Inaugural Class of Fellows

March 07, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Medley will spend 2022 in New York City working with the company management for the smash Broadway musical “Wicked.” 
  • He’s one of only eight professionals nationwide who’s received this honor.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – In the magical world of Broadway, statistics show that people who identify as Black and Queer can usually be found on the stage…just not behind it, on Broadway’s administrative side. The Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) was founded in 2019 to change those statistics – and Winthrop University’s very own Jordan Medley is part of that change.

The BTC has named Medley, who’s currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Arts Administration (MAAA) degree online, to its inaugural class of fellows. Medley will spend 2022 in New York City working with the company management for the smash Broadway musical “Wicked.” He’s one of only eight professionals nationwide who’s received this honor.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Medley moved to the Charlotte area when he was 12. He earned a degree in contemporary dance with an emphasis on composition and choreography from the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts and has spent much of his career working both behind the scenes in arts management and in the forefront as a freelance dancer and choreographer. He chose Winthrop’s MAAA program because its online nature and flexibility worked within his career.

“I have always felt that I have a strong understanding of the [arts] business,” he said. “Even so, I wanted to reinforce what I knew. I also wanted to learn new skills or to gain fresh perspectives. I’m a glutton for learning! Ask my husband. He'll tell you that I read a lot and am always spouting random facts.”

The BTC fellowship combined with his Winthrop studies is a perfect combination.

When asked what he’s most excited about with the fellowship, Medley quickly exclaimed: “Where do I begin?!”

“There’s an endless amount of opportunity here, at least for me,” he continued. “This fellowship is work that I love! My background was most notably in non-profit arts and cultural management and administration, but there are many intersections and transferrable skills. I truly am open to whatever comes my way within this fellowship and outside of it. One of my dreams has always been to own a management and production company, so now’s the time to learn and study as much as I can.”

Medley first heard about the coalition’s opportunity after his husband forwarded it to him and strongly encouraged him to apply.

“I was hesitant at first because many programs claim to center, mentor and train Black and brown folks,” he said, “so I’m always a little skeptical of these things. But I dug into the application and decided to apply; thus began my journey of interviews with multiple fellowships across multiple management and creative offices around NYC.”

He found the process a little daunting at times and dealt with “imposter syndrome” – to which “my husband would remind me that I was more than capable, qualified and worthy of the opportunity.” Then came the conversation with Susan Sampliner, company manager for Wicked LLC, and Nina Essman, general manager and partner for 321 Management. The opportunity clicked.

“My fellowship placement officially started in January, and I’ve been in NYC absorbing every moment of the opportunity,” Medley said. He hopes to one day start his own company.

Learn more about the online MAAA program and other College of Visual and Performing Arts’ degrees.

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Last Updated: 3/7/22