Foundation Announces New Grants and a Gift for May

The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation is pleased to announce the following grants and a gift for May 2016:

  • A grant to Bless Bless Productions, of New York, N.Y., to cover a trip by documentary filmmakers Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir to Nebraska, where they will do research for a new film, Heartbeat of the Heartland: The Brandon Teena Story, 20 Years Later. Muska and Olafsdottir’s previous LGBT-themed documentaries include The Brandon Teena Story (1998), about the 1993 murder of a young trans man in a rural Midwestern community, and Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (2009), about the forty-plus-year relationship between Thea Spyer and Edith Windsor. Windsor was the lead plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, which in 2013 led to the Supreme Court’s overturning of a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act. The trailer for Edie & Thea can be viewed at
  • A grant to Juventas New Music Ensemble, of Boston, Mass., to help support its world premiere production of a new opera, The Body Politic, by composer Leo Hurley and librettist Charles Osborne. The opera, set in North Carolina and Afghanistan between 1996 and 2006, follows a young transgender Afghan immigrant as he navigates his new American life. The opera received its premiere this month at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts. For further information, visit
  • A gift to Simpatico Theatre, of Philadelphia, Penn., in recognition of its ongoing commitment to producing theater that is a force for positive social change. This June, Simpatico will premiere the play Time Is on Our Side, by R. Eric Thomas, which explores Philadelphia’s “hidden” history through the inspiring stories of generations of the city’s LGBT residents. For more information on the company and the play, visit