(Photos by Roger Mastronianni from the 2015 Institute meeting in Cleveland.)
The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Institute is a key part of TCG's multi-year, six-point Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative to transform the national theatre field into a more equitable, inclusive and diverse community. TCG, in partnership with Carmen Morgan, director of artEquity, has launched two national cohorts of over 40 TCG Member Theatres to advance change at the personal, organizational, and fieldwide levels. Over the three years of the Institute, the participating theatres convene in-person at TCG’s National Conference in June and TCG’s Fall Forum on Governance in November. The Institute also provides skills-building webinars, regional organizing, and one-on-one consultations to participants. Morgan crafts the Institute curriculum in collaboration with TCG's Elena Chang, associate director of equity, diversity & inclusion and Gus Schulenburg, director of communications & community engagement. The EDI Institute is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The first cohort, which launched its three-year process in June 2013, includes: Alliance Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Cara Mia Theatre, Central Square Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, CROSSROADS, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Jubilee Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Lark Play Development Center, Magic Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Penumbra Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, The Public Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Tectonic Theater Project, The Theater Offensive, and TCG.
The second cohort, which launched its three-year process in June 2016, includes: ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Bricolage Production Company, Center Theatre Group, Crowded Fire Theater Company, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, dog & pony dc, East West Players, Guthrie Theater, Marin Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, Mu Performing Arts, New Native Theatre, People's Light, Ping Chong + Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Southern Rep Theatre, TeAda Productions, Teatro del Pueblo, and Two River Theater Company.
Participating theatres of color (TOCs) play a special role within the Institute, as we value racial equity and are committed to working in solidarity with theatres of color to end systemic racism in the theatre field and our broader culture. The Institute develops and supports programs for and by TOCs to achieve these goals, and integrates an anti-racist analysis into all aspects of our institutional programming and decision-making. Read the Institute's Theatres of Color Statement of Values here.
The Institute was created, and the first cohort co-led, by Carmen Morgan and Dafina McMillan, TCG's former Director of Communications & Conferences, with support from Ty Defoe, TCG's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Fellow, and Gus Schulenburg, TCG's then Associate Director of Communications.
(Photo by Roger Mastroianni. Pictured: June 2015 Institute meeting facilitation team: Ty Defoe, Dafina McMillan, Michael Robertson, Carmen Morgan, and Gus Schulenburg.)
artEquity provides tools, resources, and training to support the intersection of art and activism.
There is a growing movement within the arts community, one that has been building for some time. There is growing understanding that issues of equity are not only central to the health of our communities, but also to the success and longevity of the arts. We know that art can not exist without community, and community can not exist with out justice. However, without strategic coordination of efforts, resources, and capacity building, many opportunities will be lost or short-lived. A national facilitator training program can support a growing movement of engaged arts professionals. Ultimately, the goal of the artEquity training is to create a diverse, well-equipped cadre of national facilitators who can support equity-based initiatives nation-wide. Alumni of the training are supported in sustaining peer networks, intentional collaboration, and ongoing learning.
TCG's vision is: A better world for theatre. A better world because of theatre.
TCG will become the catalytic center of a network of theatre people building more creative, diverse and civically engaged communities through theatre. Participation in theatre will be widely recognized as a right of every individual, a necessity for every community and a uniting force nationally and internationally.
In an increasingly interconnected, non-hierarchical and resource-stressed world, TCG will be the hub of an interdependent, inclusive and sustainable theatre field. TCG will harness our digital, high-tech future to champion the value of local, high-touch human connection. Our programming and core values will ripple through the primary partnership of our Member Theatres and other partner organizations to empower all theatre people and the communities they serve.