NEW YORK CITY: The Asian American Arts Alliance has launched the 2016 Van Lier Fellowship, aimed at actors and directors under 30 years old, living in New York City. The fellowship will come with $12,000 and an eight-month residency at the Alliance. The fellowship is part of a three-year cycle of fellowships for artists in theatre, music, and visual arts. The first year will focus on theatre artists, awarding eight-month fellowships to one actor and one director of Asian descent. The fellows will be announced in June. “The Alliance is thrilled to be offering this extraordinary opportunity to young Asian American theatre professionals in New York City,” said Andrea Louie, executive director of the Alliance, in a statement. “The launch of this terrific program has never been more timely, particularly with campaigns such as #OscarsSoWhite, which raise awareness of the systemic issues of representation, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts. It’s our hope that programs such as the Van Lier Fellowships will help advance the careers of exceptional young Asian American theatre artists at pivotal moments, providing the public recognition, financial support, and artistic guidance that will impact them across a lifetime of making work. We also hope the experience will help encourage these young artists to serve as mentors themselves, fostering a culture of generosity in what can be a challenging field.” The Van Lier Fellowship is supported with a grant from the New York Community Trust. The residency at the Alliance will run July 2016 to February 2017. It will include a leadership coaching series, artistic mentorship with a mid-career theatre professional, and professional technical resources. Applicants can apply online here. The application deadline will be April 10.