Dear MICHA members, participants, colleagues, friends,

When Zelda Fichandler was Chair of the NYU Grad Acting Program, she told me she loved fund raising for scholarships because she had a passion for the cause. She said, “Integrating fund raising with making art…a collective consciousness… to give to the arts requires a certain thoughtful motion of the heart.”

All of you have been a part of Michael Chekhov’s legacy and been nourished and inspired by him. Many of you have been motivated to return to a community where you can develop and expand your artistry. Others have not had access because they simply lack the resources to attend.

When Zelda died, she left MICHA a grant in her will and we created the Zelda Fichandler Scholarship Fund, focused on making Micha’s training available to a more diverse community of artists and teachers than we have traditionally served. I am pleased to tell you that for the past three MICHA summer workshops, we have been able to grant four scholarships in Zelda’s name.The first scholarship recipient, Robert Hart, shared these heartfelt thoughts, "In this industry I never thought I would find a sense of family, but with MICHA I have found a home. I have been pushed mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and never felt that it mattered what I looked like or where I came from, it is always about the work. I am so grateful for who brought me to this tribe and all of those that continue to embrace me." One of our recipients, Chuk Obasi, an actor/teacher, attended the workshop last June and left to perform his one-man show in DC the following day. Though he had performed the piece many times, something was different. His producer said, “That was your best performance! What did you do to change it?” Chuk’s answer: “I spent a week with Michael Chekhov.”

Letitia James, another grant recipient, said, “The work was nothing less than magic. I feel invigorated and inspired as an actor, a teacher and a director, and the technique has become one of the most important and powerful tools I’ve encountered in my artistic career”.

We are turning to each of you to help us pay it forward. Each $1,500 scholarship fully covers tuition, food and housing. There are many ways you can help. If 15 donors contribute $100 each, or 30 donate $50, they can join in sponsoring one full scholarship. Please be as generous as you can. A gift of any amount will be “a thoughtful motion of the heart.”

My warmest wishes to all,

Joanna Merlin

The Michael Chekhov Association, President & Founder