An Interview with Jim Joseph: Opening the Front of the House and Theater Operations to Diversity & Inclusion

Jim Joseph describes himself as an expert in theater operations and an enabler of artistic ideas. He currently works as the Theatre Manager at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, the Broadway home of Manhattan Theatre Club. A graduate of Marist College, Jim has worked in many different areas of the performing arts and Broadway, including development, education, marketing, box office and most notably Front of … Continue reading An Interview with Jim Joseph: Opening the Front of the House and Theater Operations to Diversity & Inclusion

Aaron Dworkin: Carving the path to diversify classical music performances and audiences

Aaron Dworkin is the personification of the theme he once explored on his weekly, mentoring videocast: Do more than is expected of you. He is a classically-trained, concert violinist. He is a MacArthur Fellow and the first member of former-President Barack Obama’s National Council of the Arts. He established the Sphinx Organization while pursuing his undergraduate degree at University of Michigan, a competition and support program … Continue reading Aaron Dworkin: Carving the path to diversify classical music performances and audiences

APAP’s Krista Bradley: Playing a Leadership Role to Foster Diversity & Inclusion

Leadership is a critical factor in facilitating change and creating a lasting impact. This week, I’m highlighting the work of one of my colleagues—Krista Bradley. As Director of Programs and Resources for Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), develops and implements APAP’s year-round and conference-related professional development programs, grantmaking, services and resources that advance the skills, knowledge and capabilities of APAP’s membership. Prior to joining … Continue reading APAP’s Krista Bradley: Playing a Leadership Role to Foster Diversity & Inclusion

The Time for Repatriation and Homecomings

In the January 24, 2018, issue of The New Yorker Magazine, an article caught my eye. It was titled “The Troubling Origins of the Skeletons in a New York Museum.” The article, written by Daniel A. Gross, focused on efforts to repatriate from the American Museum of Natural History in New York century-old bones belonging to victims of a genocide in Namibia. The story of … Continue reading The Time for Repatriation and Homecomings

CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF AUNT CHEE-CHEE

Sometimes after I give lecture or conduct a workshop, people ask me, “What inspires you?” Today, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with you that the foundation of who I am and the catalyst for my work actually began in 1919 with the arrival of a tour de force, whose given name was Alzora Rhea Goodrum Simmons. My sisters and I, along with all … Continue reading CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF AUNT CHEE-CHEE

National Theatre Conference Expands Efforts to Diversify Leadership

The National Theatre Conference (NTC) is a not-for-profit organization made up of distinguished members of the American Theatre Community. Established in 1925, its mission includes: Exploring the means to best serve the interests of the American Theatre, and to initiate, encourage, and support projects of value and significance with a view towards strengthening and broadening the influence of theatre in our country. Bringing the membership … Continue reading National Theatre Conference Expands Efforts to Diversify Leadership

Saving Youth Arts Programs

In August of last year, I wrote a blog about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs Awards, the nation’s highest award for after-school and in-school arts and humanities programs. The program was celebrating 20 years of providing funding and recognition to the nation’s best programs, primarily in underserved urban and rural communities. These programs provided youth with a broad array of opportunities—ranging from self-discovery … Continue reading Saving Youth Arts Programs

The Right to be Innovative: A Panel Discussion at APAP

I had the opportunity to moderate a very important panel last week at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference in New York. The genesis of the panel was a troubling New York Times review published May 31, 2017, about a DanceAfrica performance. The theme of the program was “The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond.” The Times’ headlined its “bittersweet” review: “DanceAfrica … Continue reading The Right to be Innovative: A Panel Discussion at APAP

Celebrating the March on Washington Film Festival, An Interview with Isisara Bey

   Isisara Bey serves as Artistic Director of the March on Washington Film Festival (MOWFF). The annual, week-long festival, which is held in the nation’s capital, features Civil Rights-themed short, documentary and narrative films, first-person accounts, panels, performing arts and sponsors student filmmaker and journalist competitions. The MOWFF was established in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and … Continue reading Celebrating the March on Washington Film Festival, An Interview with Isisara Bey

Shaping Cultural Identity with the Najwa Dance Corps

  In 1977, my two sisters and I became founding members of Najwa Dance Corps (NDC) in Chicago. We were so excited to be a part of something new that carried forward for future generations African American culture through dance, engaging new audiences, as well as teaching dance on Chicago’s West Side. Najwa I and her dance partner, the late Julian Swain, in whose company … Continue reading Shaping Cultural Identity with the Najwa Dance Corps