Building an EDIJ Action Plan for Theatre Organizations
Join TYA/USA, in partnership with Arts in Color, in a national conversation on addressing the racism and oppression that impacts the entire TYA industry in personal, professional, and systemic ways.
How do we create meaningful and specific plans to hold our organizations, especially PWI (Predominantly White Institutions), accountable to change? Inspired by Artistic Director Michael J. Bobbitt’s work at New Repertory Theatre and Adventure Theatre MTC, this session will explore the building blocks of creating an actionable and measurable Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice Plan for Theatre Organizations who want to go beyond making statements to creating meaningful change programmatically, structurally, and culturally.
Over the course of a 11-session webinar series we will explore a variety of issues and perspectives regarding the ways artists and organizations can begin to (or further) embed antiracist practice in Theatre for Young Audiences.
In addition to the 11 webinars, participants will be provided with reading materials, resources, follow up questions to deepen their learning, and a Slack Channel for further dialogue. Join colleagues across the country in actively engaging with ways to dismantle racism and white supremacy in the TYA field, and work toward making (or sustaining) meaningful change in creating a truly equitable landscape for our artists, organizations, and our young audiences.
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
Time: 1:30 – 2:45 PM ET
Cost: Sliding Scale. Visit tyausa.org/antiracism for details.
Michael J. Bobbitt
Michael J. Bobbitt is the Artistic Director of New Repertory Theatre in Boston, MA. He is an arts leader, director, choreographer, playwright and Anti-racist Arts Advocate.
Michael has been a leading voice for Inclusiveness in the arts beginning early in his career in his hometown of Washington, DC, and throughout his tenure at numerous prominent arts organizations, where he has been repeatedly recognized for his efforts in the advancement of Anti-racism, Equity, and Diversity. His practices, policies and procedures for creating and changing culture within arts organizations have been adopted by several organizations around the nation. His thought-leadership in this crucial area is now spreading to a number of national outlets including regional panels, national conferences, and his widely popular new series of webinars focused on building Anti-racist organizations.
In his first year at New Rep, Michael eradicated the debt, built three several months of reserves, increased ticket sales by 43%, donations by 24%, patronage by 26% and Board giving exceeded goal by 57%. Additionally, he has made New Rep into a leading voice on building Anti-racist theatre.
Prior to New Rep, he served as Artistic Director for Adventure Theatre-MTC in Maryland, where he led the historic organization to be one of the leading theatre/training companies in the DC region and a nationally influential professional Theatre for Young Audiences. He led the company through a merger, that increased the organizational budget by more than 600%, and led directly to an expansion of the audience base by over 400%. During his tenure, he commissioned 40 new works by noted playwrights, transferred two shows to successful Off-Broadway run in NYC, and oversaw the launch of an international tour that brought worldwide attention to Adventure Theatre-MTC. Michael founded and built a performing arts training academy for school-aged students in the Washington, DC area that became an important resource for young artists in a region where public school arts programs had been sacrificed in the name of cost-cutting. His productions received dozens of Helen Hayes Award© Nominations and featured eight wins.
Bobbitt has directed/choreographed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the 1996 Olympics.
As a writer, his work has been produced all over the country and international. He has plays published by Concord Theatricals, Plays for Young Audiences and Broadway Licensing. He trained at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, Professional Fundraising Certificate Program from Boston University, Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell, artEquity and People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and other top leadership programs. He earned the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement) the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), among others.