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artEquity Announces BIPOC Leadership Circle

The program will take place over six virtual convenings starting on November 5, 2020, culminating on December 17, 2020.

artEquity Announces BIPOC Leadership Circle

artEquity, in partnership with Yale School of Drama, has announced the launch of its latest leadership program for fieldwide systemic change. The BIPOC Leadership Circle prioritizes, centers, and addresses the needs of BIPOC leaders in cultural arts institutions and comes at this particular time when values-based leadership is needed even more.

The program works with individuals who are navigating within organizations and fields that are predominantly white and have limited representation of BIPOC leaders. The initiative grows out of a five-year relationship between artEquity and Yale School of Drama. Through the BIPOC Leadership Circle, artEquity, which provides tools, resources, and training at the intersection of art and activism, and Yale School of Drama, which trains leaders committed to raising the standard of professional practice, aim to foster new paradigms for BIPOC leadership.

The inaugural cohort brings together 50 BIPOC leaders representing 48 organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Participants work within a number of art sectors including the performing and visual arts, arts councils, arts service organizations, and foundations. The cohort includes Narda E. Alcorn (Yale School of Drama), Renee Alston (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Shaminda Amarakoon (Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre), Renee S. Anderson (Smithsonian Institution), Gabriel Barrera (ScenicG), Toni Bell (International Documentary Association), Katherin Canton (California Arts Council), Elena Chang (Theatre Communications Group), Frankie Charles (Minnesota Opera), Alejandra Cisneros (The Public Theater), Leticia Delgado (Ballet Lubbock), Kellee Edusei (Dance/USA), Sonia Fernandez (Magic Theatre), Karena Fiorenza (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Shanelle Gabriel (Urban Word NYC), Napolean Gladney (Musco Center for the Arts/LA Contemporary Dance Company), Laura Gomez-Mesquita (Kartemquin Films), Natalia Goodnow (Creative Action), Maura Hackett (NEO Philanthropy, Inc.), Audrey Hoo (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Kathy Hsieh (Seattle Office of Arts and Culture), Sajal Javid (Alley Theatre), Rocky Jones (Minnesota Opera), Khady Kamara (2nd Stage), Teiya Kasahara (Amplified Opera), Natalie Kennedy (Minnesota State Arts Board), Ginger Klee (Mt. San Antonio College), Frances Koncan (Sarasvati Productions), Anika Kwinana (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Emalie Mayo (Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre), Gabriela Muñoz (Arizona State University), Tariana Navas-Nieves (City and County of Denver), Kristal Pacific (OPERA America), Tricia Patrick (MCC Theater), Christian Ramírez(Phoenix Art Museum), Chantal Rodriguez (Yale School of Drama), Faith Davis Ruffins (Smithsonian NationalMuseum of American Art), Aaron Salley (Musical Theatre Factory), Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick (Crocker Art Museum), Niegel Smith (The Flea and A.R.T./New York), Megha Agrawal Sood (Doc Society), Mei Ann Teo (Musical Theatre Factory), Candace Thompson-Zachery (Dance/NYC), Alexander Tom (Pace University), Alejandra Valarino Boyer (Seattle Opera), Marie Vickles (Perez Art Museum Miami), Stacy Waring (The Lark Theatre Company), Nicole A. Watson (McCarter Theatre Center), and Michael Winn (Children's Theatre Company).

The inaugural cohort is supported by artEquity Executive Director and Founder Carmen Morgan, Nijeul X Porter, Program Lead, and an experienced team of co-facilitators, including Mica Cole (national consultant); Ty Defoe (independent artist); Patricia Garza (Director of Programs and Engagement, Network of Ensemble Theatres); Leslie Ishii (Artistic Director, Perseverance Theatre); Dat Ngo (Director of Innovation and Engagement, Sitar Arts Center); and Lauren Turner (Producing Artistic Director, No Dream Deferred NOLA).

The program will take place over six virtual convenings starting on November 5, 2020, culminating on December 17, 2020. The analysis-building sessions explore core competencies needed to strengthen individual and collective BIPOC leadership, while growing a network of values-aligned leaders in the field.

"As more and more leaders of color are given access to occupy the most senior leadership roles within cultural arts organizations, we are finding that many predominantly white organizations are not adequately prepared to support them." said artEquity Executive Director Carmen Morgan, "Leadership models that support white leaders, are not necessarily effective leadership models for BIPOC leaders. On the contrary, often those leadership styles and models are incongruent to the leadership styles and needs of BIPOC leaders. This cohort aims to both support BIPOC leaders, and support new leadership models and values."

"It is an honor to deepen Yale School of Drama's relationship with artEquity as a partner in support of the BIPOC Leadership Circle," said YSD Dean James Bundy. "We are grateful to the Robina Foundation for the grant that has made this initiative possible, and eager to bear witness to the collective impact of these 50 leaders, who are vital stewards of our field."


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