Who Is The Nonprofit Theater Coalition & How Do I Join?
Find Out More About How To Join & What We Do
Welcome to the Professional Non-Profit Theater Coalition!
Our coalition, a national caucus of non-profit theater artistic, managing, and executive directors, consists of more than 50 theaters represented from across the United States for organizing purposes. This national workgroup originally convened to advocate for inclusion in what is now the Shuttered Venues Operator Grant and PPP Loan Programs.
We want to write to share the recent work of this coalition and to welcome you to engage in the continued organizing of our national theater community towards federal legislation that will proactively support the health of our industry and our future. This coalition emerged responsively to our shared pandemic crisis and remains dedicated through the end of 2022 to working collaboratively towards mutual aid, relief, and recovery action.
So far, we represent theaters with a keen interest in this work from nearly every region of the country, urban and rural, large and small, BIPOC focused theaters, and predominantly/historically-run white theaters. We are open in our coalition building. We are continuing to add artistic, managing, and executive directors who share our passion for advocacy and our ability to recover from this pandemic. We have a steering committee of 10 theaters and a small leadership committee consisting of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Public Theater, and Woolly Mammoth Theater of Washington DC. The five leaders from those three theaters, who participate actively, consist of three women of color and two white men.
We are very clear this work is in service of our entire industry. We work towards equity and inclusion and to be an anti-racist coalition as we quell the white supremacist culture’s individualism at every turn.
Currently, we are working on two fronts:
- The first is the rollout of the two programs in the just-passed Rescue Relief Bill that impacts theaters:
- The PPP and the Shuttered Venue Operational Grants (SVOG, formerly known as Save Our Stages).
- We are thrilled with the passage of these bills and incredibly proud that we could play a role in making that happen. Since they have been passed, two representatives from the coalition have met with the SBA to help define the language, rules, and process of application, and hopefully in a way that is most helpful to our theater community. We have also participated in the implementation of the program through on-going engagement with other SVOG Stakeholders including NIVA, the Broadway League, APAP, the Performing Arts Alliance, NITO, the League of Historic American Theatres, and many others. We have worked to coordinate our efforts closely with TCG and the Performing Arts Alliance, and have been an important node of communication to our coalition members around SVOG issues.We were also involved in helping the whole field understand how to apply; we conducted a field-wide Webinar with TCG in early February to instruct 200 theaters of the bill’s particulars; and we continue to offer updates as the SVOG opened and is now receiving applications.
- Our coalition’s second focus is to formulate a vision and strategy for the Federal government’s new and expansive role concerning the non-profit theater field.
- The Depression of the 30's sparked the Federal Theater Project as an employment program; the prosperity of the 1960s led to the New Frontier and the Great Society, of which the NEA and the Regional Theater Movement were the theatrical expression; might the 2020s be another moment when we can reimagine the federal role for the Arts?
In this era where the necessity for equity, inclusion, and access are prominent, how can the theater sector take an even more significant part to make a more just, equitable, and anti-racist society? And how can our government help us?
With this national coalition building, we hope for this era to be one where we make an enduring radical change.
We are informally organized, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (a 501(c)3 organization) has been operating as our fiscal agent.
Our vision and strategy formation are currently represented in four major themes: Infrastructure, Artists, Arts Education, and Workforce Development. We are excited to strategize for alignment with the new climate change and recovery initiatives of this new administration. We are working organically, and there are many ways to support and engage this work beyond joining a committee. How would your theater like to participate in these collective efforts?
Please fill out this google form to indicate your interest and so we know how to follow up with you regarding details and updates.
Below, you will see that individuals from the coalition have offered their emails; please reach out to any one of them with your thoughts or questions. We also encourage you to invite other artistic, managing, and executive directors to join this coalition. Please let us know and we can support this process.
On behalf of the national workgroup, this Coalition Building Subcommittee welcomes you to our Professional Non-Profit Theater Coalition. The outcomes of these efforts will serve the whole of our field, not just those who serve on these committees. This Coalition is alive and vibrant, and eager to continue. In whatever capacity you choose to engage in, your support and participation will make us more vigorous advocates for all of our recovery efforts. We look forward to a time of communal thriveability.
Warmly and in solidarity,
Emika Abe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Coleman Wash, email@example.com
Nataki Garrett, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Manuela Goyanes, email@example.com
James Haskins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Ishii, email@example.com
Alexandra Meda, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Schmitz, email@example.com
Oskar Eustis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coalition Building & Leadership Subcommittees, Professional Non-Profit Theater Coalition