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The 2017 StageSource Conference was built around the theme "Arts Activism: Where Do You Fit In?" It was held on June 17 at Northeastern University. We worked on a Statement of Purpose for the arts community, and are continuing to work on the drafts. This blog reflects the reason for the theme, and our investment in it, and it highlights the work and support of our partners.

 

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Top tags: #SC17ArtsAct  StageSource  StageSource Board  #ParityBos  Adam Sanders  Arts Activism  Babson Arts  Bank of America  Berkshire Leadership Summit  Conference  Gender Parity  Grants  Julie Hennrikus  Sara Brookner  StageSource Support 

ED Julie Hennrikus to participate in the Berkshire Leadership Summit

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Monday, September 25, 2017

 

StageSource Executive Director is thrilled to be a participant at the October Berkshire Leadership Summit. The cohort of women chosen for this event are from all over the United States and Canada, and at varying stages in their careers. The convening will be part networking, part skill building, and part having conversations around women in theater and the issue of gender parity. The weekend aligns with the work that StageSource is doing, and has done, around gender parity, and is a great opportunity to elevate the conversation.

 

The press release for the event is below. Stay tuned for more details, and some reflections on the event.

 

**************************************************

 

September 21, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gail Burns, Marketing and Publicity Associate

www.wamtheatre.com

pr@wamtheatre.com; 518.243.9627

Press photos can be found at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wamtheatre/

 

WAM Theatre Announces Attendees for October’s Berkshire Leadership Summit

 

We see the operation of a glass ceiling, a metaphor for the barriers facing women stuck at middle management where they can see the top but cannot reach it.”

- from the Wellesley Centers for Women Study

 

LEE, MA - Organizers of the pilot Berkshire Leadership Summit, an event for women aspiring to, or already in, leadership positions in the non-profit theatre, and hosted by WAM Theatre, are excited to announce that the attendees of this event have been selected.

 

Of the 163 women theatre professionals who applied to participate in the Berkshire Leadership Summit, 75 have been accepted, hailing from 22 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. This cohort reflects an emphasis the Steering Committee members placed on diversity, accessibility, and intentionality early in the process. Towards this goal, the steering committee members, comprised of Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre (Steering Committee Chair); Akiba Abaka, Audience Development Manager at ArtsEmerson; Rachel Fink, Managing Director of Theatre Bay Area; and Shafer Mazow, who currently works at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, went through a rigorous selection process that focused on creating a cohort that balanced career (early/late/mid-career), background (race, sexual identity, geography), and level of leadership experience. The process resulted in an intentional balance of these criteria in an effort to provide the greatest opportunity for personal growth and community-building for each attendee at the summit.

 

“When I stood up at a microphone at American Conservatory Theater's Women's Leadership Conference in August 2016 and said WAM Theatre would host a summit as a next step in the national conversation around gender parity in the theatre, never, ever did I think it would result in this sort of response,” explained Kristen van Ginhoven, WAM’s Artistic Director. “The desire for this sort of event is very clear. “

 

“Getting this sort of response confirms that we were embarking on something timely and critical in discussions of equity and inclusion in the field.” said Shafer Mazow, Steering Committee Member and a lead developer and organizer of the Women’s Leadership Project and convening that inspired the Berkshire Leadership Summit. “Women of all backgrounds, experiences, and identities struggle to break the glass ceiling in theatre, and the diversity of applicants proves we are articulating and addressing a need for that glass ceiling to be shattered for everyone.”

 

Early- to late-career theatre professionals from British Columbia to Brooklyn will come together in Lenox, Massachusetts, for two days at the end of October. The summit will have a three-part structure: Networking opportunities, rigorous Skill-Building sessions and Advancing the Discourse panels, which will be livestreamed through HowlRound. The Steering Committee will announce the speakers, panelists, and schedule next month.

 

Attendees such as Emika Abe of Atlanta, Georgia, have long felt the uneven ground of gender parity in theatre and are eager to support other participants in leveling this playing field. “It can be difficult to envision myself in a formal leadership position when there isn't an abundant pool of leaders who look like me from which to gather inspiration,” she explains. “This creates a barrier to really owning that we deserve a seat at the table.”

 

Canadian attendee Heather Cant echoes this sentiment. “The importance of equality should never need explaining; when all voices are welcome and heard with equal merit, all the world will truly be a stage.”

 

Steering Committee Chair van Ginhoven concludes, “WAM Theatre and the Steering Committee are incredibly proud to be taking action for gender parity in the non-profit theatre by hosting the pilot Berkshire Leadership Summit. We look forward to welcoming all of these impressive women leaders to the beautiful Berkshires in October.”

 

A complete list of this year’s Berkshire Leadership Summit participants is below. To learn more please visit http://www.wamtheatre.com/berkshire-leadership-summit-2017/attendees/.

 

Emika Abe, Atlanta, GA

C.J. Astronomo, Toronto, Ontario

Leah Barish, Chicago, IL

Eva Barrie, Toronto, Ontario

Devon Berkshire, Brooklyn, NY

Anne Bertram, Minneapolis, MN

Sara Brookner, Somerville, MA

Kamilah Bush, Greensboro, NC

Kristen Adele Calhoun, New York, NY

Heather Cant, Kamloops, British Columbia

Tatyana-Marie Carlo, Miami, FL

Elena Chang, New York, NY

Jamila Cobham, Richmond, CA

Patsy Collins Bandes, Belmont, MA

Angela Combest, Chester, MA

Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin, West Sacramento, CA

Celine Delcayre, Brooklyn, NY

Deanna Downes, Cedar Rapids, IA

Theresa Erbacher, Washington, DC

Hannah Fenlon, Brooklyn, NY

Karena Fiorenza Ingersoll, Chicago, IL

Aislinn Frantz, Groton, CT

Kelly Galvin, Lee, MA

Ann Garner, Philadelphia, PA

Adriana Gaviria, New York, NY

Maddie Gaw, Berkeley, CA

Tuled Giovanazzi, Calgary, Alberta

Ruth Goodwin, Toronto, Ontario

Stephanie Graham, Toronto, Ontario

Ty Hallmark, Kensington, MD

Pamela Halstead, East Pennant, Nova Scotia

Julie Hennrikus, Boston, MA

Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Chicago, IL

Esther Jun, Toronto, Ontario

Teresa Kilzi, Urbana, IL

Lia Kozatch, Clark, CO

Anne Levy, Tuscaloosa, AL

Shellen Lubin, Chatham, NY

Natasha MacLellan, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

Porsche McGovern, Greenwich, CT

Tracy Liz Miller, Tempe, AZ

Nicole Miller Marks, Philadelphia, PA

Margaret Morneau, Roseville, CA

Tara Moses, Broken Arrow, OK

Shondrika Moss-Bouldin, Fairburn, GA

Shannon Musgrave, Salt Lake City, UT

Erica Nagel, Oakland, NJ

Brenna Nicely, Arlington, MA

Bridget O'Leary, Watertown, MA

Abigail Pañares, Berkeley, CA

Elizabeth Pangburn, Shutesbury, MA

Rebecca Parker, Buford, GA

Melinda Pfundstein Vaughn, Cedar City, UT

Karen Altree Piemme, San Jose, CA

Lisa Portes, Chicago, IL

Mary Jane Probst, Saint Louis, MO

Martha Richards, Berkeley, CA

Ali Joy Richardson, Toronto, Ontario

Dylan Russell, Richmond, CA

Helen Schultz, New York, NY

Jordan Schwartz, Marietta, GA

Phaedra Scott, Boston, MA

Hana Sharif, Baltimore, MD

Shannon Sindelar, Brooklyn, NY

Brianna Sloane, Sunderland, MA

Nicole St. Martin, Edmonton, Alberta

Bronwyn Steinberg, Ottawa, Ontario

Meg Sullivan, Cranston, RI

Erin Washington, Atlanta, GA

Emma Watt, Somerville, MA

Alexis Williams, New York, NY

Denise Winter, Port Townsend, WA

Danielle Zarbin, Brooklyn, NY

ABOUT THE BERKSHIRE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

The pilot Berkshire Leadership Summit will be hosted by WAM Theatre on October 28 and 29, 2017, in the Elayne Bernstein Performing Arts Center at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA.


The summit is informed and supported by the research that American Conservatory Theater commissioned from the Wellesley Centers for Women. The HowlRound blogpost about the study can be found at http://howlround.com/women-s-leadership-research-results-and-recommendations

 

Sponsors and supporters for the summit include Lynn and Richard Atkinson, Hannelore Voness, Joan and James Hunter, Jack and Suzy Wadsworth, Arwen Lowbridge of Baystate Financial, Classical Tents, ZONTA Club of Berkshire County, and the donors of the GoFundMe campaign.


The Berkshire Leadership Summit Steering Committee: Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre; Akiba Abaka, Audience Development Manager at ArtsEmerson; Rachel Fink, Managing Director of Theatre Bay Area; and Shafer Mazow, who currently works at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and was a lead developer and organizer of the Women’s Leadership Project and convening.

 

ABOUT WAM THEATRE

Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM Theatre is Where Arts and Activism Meet. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven. WAM’s vision is to create opportunity for women and girls through the mission of theatre as philanthropy. Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls. Since 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $32,500 to twelve nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 200 theatre artists. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. For more information, visit www.WAMTheatre.com



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Tags:  #ParityBos  Berkshire Leadership Summit  Gender Parity 

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Thank you #BofAGrants for Supporting StageSource

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
StageSource is a non-profit, and we rely on a mix of earned (memberships, program fees) and contributed (from individuals, corporations, foundations, and the government) to do our work. Every bit of income helps us support the New England theater community, and is greatly appreciated. We are so grateful that one of our long term partners, Bank of America, is supporting StageSource again this year. 

Tags:  Bank of America  Grants  StageSource Support 

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Arts Activism for Sara Brookner

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sara Brookner is one of our board members. She is also a fierce arts advocate, and recently went to Washington DC for and arts advocacy day. She wrote about that trip, and the Massachusetts Arts Advocacy Day she participated in, on Howlround. According to Sara, Arts Activism means "both advocating for the arts, and using the arts to advocate for what matters to us or is endangered." We are grateful that Sara is part of the StageSource team.

 

Sara Brookner is passionate about arts advocacy and community engagement. She currently works at ArtsEmerson in Boston, MA. A freelance dramaturg, she has worked on productions with Fresh Ink Theatre, Boston Public Works, Whistler in the Dark, Cornerstone Theater, and the American Repertory Theater and its Institute. A proud StageSource board member, she also coordinates their Gender Parity Task Force. Sara serves on MASSCreative’s leadership council, and as a member-at-large on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theater. She received her MFA in dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, and a certificate in community-based theatre from Cornerstone Theater’s summer institute.

Tags:  #SC17ArtsAct  Sara Brookner  StageSource Board 

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On Being "Pissed" in 2017: The Stage Source Conference

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Thursday, May 25, 2017

By Adam Sanders

In an interview published in the Harvard Business review Twyla Tharp, the legendary choreographer was prompted by the interviewer: “You’ve said repeatedly that every act of creation is an act of violence and destruction and that one of the artist’s most valuable conditions is ‘being pissed.’” While the prompt is provocative, her response is more constructive: “It’s not the anger per se that’s valuable; it’s the energy that can come from it.”  I haven’t spoken to an artist in Boston that’s not “pissed” right now and the energy in the community is palpable. It’s good that we’re pissed! But we’ve got to come together to collaboratively harness this energy to address specific challenges. That’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the Stage Source Conference this June 17th. 
 
The theme for this year’s conference is “Arts Activism: Where Do You Fit In?”  I know many people in the community have a strong sense of themselves as activists, but for me the question has always lived somewhere in the back of my mind. Recently it’s become a primary concern.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  This conference will provide opportunities to be inspired, reflect and brainstorm, get practical advice from actors, playwright, designers, administrators (you name it!), and will conclude with a community session where the group will come together, as activists, and outline goals to tackle in the years ahead. 
 
You learn pretty quickly in acting that the answer is always in your scene partner.  Looking forward to seeing my partners at the conference and hearing their questions and answers!

 

ADAM SANDERS BIO: Adam Sanders is the Associate Artistic Director for Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston, MA and the Associate Director of the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College where CSC is the theater in residence. Adam oversees educational and community engagement for CSC, including serving as director for the company’s two actor-training programs: The Apprentice Program and CSC2, as well as directing the annual Stage2 performance series. At Babson, Adam works to strengthen the synergies between arts engagement and entrepreneurial education by programming a year-long performing arts season, cultivating workshops and discussion, and coordinating an undergraduate scholarship program for student-artists.

Tags:  #SC17ArtsAct  Adam Sanders  Babson Arts  StageSource  StageSource Board 

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Why this topic now?

Posted By Julie Hennrikus, Tuesday, May 9, 2017

This year is a conference year for StageSource, and we are excited about our June 17 convening. When we picked our topic last September, we decided to focus on "Arts Activism: Where Do You Fit In?", thinking it would be about the theater community taking on a larger role in advocacy regarding government funding, and around space issues. Given the changes in the past few months, including the potential abolishment of the NEA and the NEH, we are expanding the focus of the conference. Rather than focusing on what the arts community needs, we are going to focus on what our statement of purpose is. How do we intersect with the community? Education? Science? Housing and development? Other sectors? What do we offer? Where can we do better? How do the arts intersect with politics? What is the role of the artist as citizen?

The structure of the day will be interesting, opening with a keynote by Tory Bullock, a panel with arts activists, a conference wide session with Matt Wilson to talk about arts advocacy, with some community organizing lessons for the community. At lunch we will have sessions for specific areas (marketing for new work, playwrights pitching to directors, raising money in 2017, etc.) and roundtables focusing on the business of the arts.

 

After lunch we will be working on the statement of purpose. There will be two sessions for performative devised work to be created. There will also be several working groups who focus on writing a draft of statements of purpose for the arts community. We look forward to this full day of action, activism, and investment.

 

Register here. And stay tuned for more input on why this is important to the StageSource board and conference committee.

Tags:  #SC17ArtsAct  Arts Activism  Conference  Julie Hennrikus  StageSource 

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