Laying the Groundwork: Talking about Race and Racism in Our Field & Our Communities (Part I)
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 talk about race and racism with our colleagues and with the young people we serve? These introductory sessions will support participants to engage with information and frameworks related to race, racism and equity; learn more about how we consider young people in this conversation; provide space for them to reflect on these frameworks from a personal perspective; and recognize how it impacts their professional roles in theatre for young audiences.
Please Note: Part II builds on Part I, so please make sure to sign up for both sessions.
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, September 17, 2020
Time: 1:30 – 2:45 PM ET
Cost: Sliding Scale. Visit tyausa.org/antiracism for details.
Takiema Bunche Smith
Takiema Bunche Smith, MPA, MS Ed
President and Founder of Anahsa Consulting
Takiema Bunche Smith has worked as an executive leader, education professional, and parent activist, for over two decades. By providing culturally responsive leadership at the intersection of theory, policy and practice, she envisions and builds a culture of anti-oppression and racial equity for children, adults and communities at large.
As a leader in early and middle childhood education, she has conducted professional development, program advisement and executive coaching to a variety of non-profit and corporate clients across the United States and Sweden, including Carnegie Hall, New York City’s Department of Health and Jonkoping University. In her staff role, she is currently Executive Director, Center on Culture, Race and Equity at Bank Street College and has worked at the executive level for a variety of organizations including Sesame Workshop, FirstStepNYC Early Education Leadership Institute and University Settlement Society.
In her role as president of Anahsa Educational Consulting, Takiema is a highly sought after speaker, panelist and lecturer on the topics of anti-racism, disrupting anti-Black racism in education, culturally responsive and sustaining practices, and parent and community empowerment, and has written numerous articles for outlets such as The Washington Post.
Formally trained as a doula and Zumba instructor, Takiema is passionate about creating a culture of radical self-care, particularly as it relates to professional environments. She also leads weekly wellness meetings, called Humanity First Chats for working caregivers across the country to connect and reflect on dismantling white supremacy and patriarchy in their own lives, and the lives of their children and communities.
She holds three Master’s degrees in Early Childhood & Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education, Urban Education Policy from the CUNY Graduate Center, and from NYU Wagner’s School for Public Service.
Takiema lives in Brooklyn, New York and is spending a lot of time figuring out how to support her teenager in self-directed learning projects, while she works remotely during a global pandemic. She knows she is not alone in this!
Jody Drezner Alperin
Jody Drezner Alperin is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Off The Page, an arts education and theatre company. Off The Page works with young people in and outside of school, exploring issues they are most passionate about and creating new works of theatre with them and for them.
Off The Page collaborated with playwright Finnegan Kruckemeyer and youth artists, many of them immigrants themselves, to create A SONG TO BRING YOU HOME, a story of migrants from ten different places in the world through time, including a space alien from the future.
They are the adapters of ALL AMERICAN BOYS, based on the award-winning novel by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, which explores the violent arrest of a Black teenager, the white teenager who witnesses it, and how the arrest impacts their communities over the course of a week. Off The Page has staged ALL AMERICAN BOYS as an immersive, promenade production in a Brooklyn middle school, as a reading in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA, as a radio play at New York Public Radio, and as the opening performance of the TYA/USA National Festival & Conference, produced by The Alliance Theatre. Their script is now available for license through Playscripts.
They recently wrapped the first season of Missing From the Museum, an audience-driven family adventure series that combines interactive online performances with exploring art, artists, and museums in real life. This was an historic, cross-country collaboration between Off The Page, Brave Little Company (Houston, TX), Trike Theatre (NW Arkansas), and Dare to Dream Theatre (Manitowoc/Sheboygan, WI).
Currently, they are developing their adaptation of Kip Wilson’s WHITE ROSE, the true story of student resistance in 1940’s Germany when Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and their university friends wrote and distributed treasonous leaflets, urging their fellow Germans to resist the Nazi regime.
Off The Page is the recipient of multiple grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Chipstone Foundation shatterCABINET, and are 2019-20 New Victory LabWorks Artists.
Jody has been a guest lecturer at colleges and universities on using arts education methods in the classroom and a presenter at conferences across the country. She is also an organizer and activist, working on issues of education equity in NYC schools and racial justice within our systems,
Jody is a graduate of Northwestern University in theatre and has been seen as an actor on stages all over the US. Jody was a sign language interpreter for many years, working in the NYC public schools. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Brad and their two children, Dov and Zoe, all of whom have been in early table reads of these plays.