Theatre Bay Area Chatterbox

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No, really, we must start thinking about diversity!

I feel like I've been going on forever about how white populations are precipitously heading toward the minority in the Bay Area, since I saw this presentation from the San Francisco Foundation that said, well, that white populations would in fact be the minority in all five Bay Area counties SFF serves by 2050. In fact, there will be no majority population much more quickly than that, and certain counties like Contra Costa and Alameda will reach a Hispanic majority within the next 20 years.

And now here's this New York Times story by Sam Roberts that essentially outlines the same projections for the entire country, per the U.S. Census Bureau. Depending on whether immigration continues at the same level as it has been or continues at a slower pace (those are really the two options), whites will be in the minority nationally between 2040 and 2050.

Why is this important? It is faulty logic to think that an arts infrastructure that creates work for and relies primarily on the attendance of white audiences will be able to sustain itself when projections are showing 20-30 percent drops in white population in the next 40 years. And right now, no one seems to care. Recently, we did a study of how our 100 Free Night of Theater companies are approaching non-white audiences. Here are some bullet points from the study, which is still being processed:

  • 39% of companies claimed no African-American or Asian-American audience share. Almost half (44%) claimed no Hispanic audience share. For comparison, the SFF study puts the current ethnic distributions for those three communities as 8% African-American, 23% Asian-American, and 22% Hispanic in the 5 Bay Area counties.

  • Of those that claimed some non-white audience share, the average claim was 7% for African-American and Hispanic, and 12% for Asian-American.

  • 85% of companies were producing shows that they self-reported as not particularly resonating with non-white audiences of any ethnicity.

  • 88% of companies were planning no particular outreach to non-white populations.

I find these numbers incredibly frustrating. I know it's hard, and I know there's a lot of nuance in the conversation. And I know it's such a hard conversation to have with companies, especially because there are few stories of organizations who have (1) had the impetus to become more inclusive and (2) succeeded. But this isn't a thought exercise anymore.

Mission Paradox, in a post spawned from discussions on Arena Stage's diversity conference (read more at their New Play Development Program blog), argues that companies all fall into one of the following groups, and then suggests a path forward:

1. The Sincere Effort Group - They have the support, the money and the time. At most these groups will need help and guidance on the strategy side of the ledger. They want to diversify, but they may not be sure how, or confident in their ability to do so. This group deserves all the help, encouragement and guidance they can get.

2. The Scared - These people have some sort of fear barrier stopping them from diversifying. Fear of losing audience. Fear of losing money. Whatever. This group should be supported and encouraged . . . to a point. Some organizations spend their entire life cycle scared, that's just how it goes.

3. The "Other Priority" Group - These organizations have decided, for whatever reasons, that other initiatives are more important then a diversity effort. I think we, as an industry, should respect the decision this group makes. Maybe it's a bad decision. Hell, it is probably a bad decision. But groups have the right to make bad decisions.

4. The "No Desire" Group - This group has no desire to diversify. Who really cares why they feel that way? The only thing that matters is that they made that choice.
Again, that's a perfectly acceptable decision to make.

I think our job as a field is to look at each organization and figure out which "diversity category" they fit in.

Then we deal with them accordingly.

Our job is not to move people from one category to another. That's a choice only they can make. Embrace the ones that want change. Support the ones that need help. Wish the rest of them the best of luck and send them on their merry way.


It's a hard line, but honestly if we're talking about a crisis of relevance (and when aren't we talking about a crisis of relevance?) then diversity has to be part of the conversation.


What group do you belong to?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

216 Comments:

«Oldest ‹Older 201 – 216 of 216
At February 28, 2021 at 3:22 PM , Blogger milad said...

dzone



spreaker


smallbusinessforums



ted


blognigeria


 
At February 28, 2021 at 3:22 PM , Blogger milad said...

wibki



supportduweb


sprasia


trello


magcloud


 
At February 28, 2021 at 3:23 PM , Blogger milad said...


newspicks


etherumps



specktra



gaiaonline



ndemiccreations


 
At February 28, 2021 at 3:26 PM , Blogger milad said...

weheartit




speakerdeck



myanimelist







mobypicture



issuu



 
At March 12, 2021 at 4:08 AM , Blogger Bailey Raimo said...

Thank you for your sharing. Thanks to this blog I can learn more things. Expand your knowledge and abilities. Actually the article is very practical. For instant support related to Common AOL Mail Login Issues then please contact our team for instant help.





 
At March 13, 2021 at 4:48 AM , Blogger Bespoke Boxes UK said...

Custom printed CBD boxes have become a mandatory part of the industry. These boxes are made of reliable materials like Kraft paper, cardboard and corrugated cardboard, which is inexpensive and helps prevent environmental pollution.

 
At March 31, 2021 at 3:05 AM , Blogger QuickBooks Error said...

Nice Blog !
Have you experienced a Bank Deposit Error in QuickBooks while working on QuickBooks software? Our experts are fully trained to give you the best-in-class technical service for QuickBooks.

 
At April 5, 2021 at 2:14 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, so beautiful and wonderful post! Thanks for giving an opportunity to read a fantastic and imaginary blog. It gives me lots of pleasure and interest. Thanks for sharing. If you need any technical support related QuickBooks, click here, QuickBooks Customer Service Number for immediate solution.

 
At April 7, 2021 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Content Writing Services Provider company said...

Really such an extremely good post that you have provided for us. I agree that art is a primary key to inventiveness. I would like to share this post with my audience. Fell free to check this one SEO Content Writing Services

 
At April 11, 2021 at 12:17 AM , Blogger Bill Camp said...

The Programming Homework Help
expert went out of the way and did even more than I asked him to do. I've fallen for his rich knowledge of Java and how he perfectly organizes his solutions for the student's easy revision. It's never easy to bump into such genius Java Homework Help
specialists that charge only a few bucks to get the job done perfectly.

 
At April 11, 2021 at 12:18 AM , Blogger Bill Camp said...

Hey there, can someone with Statistics Homework Help with the analysis of covariance? But I do not know how to conduct the ANCOVA test in SPSS. But that is not it. I don't really know how the test is done even manually. I know that there are two kinds of ANCOVA tests. The one-way ANCOVA and the two-way ANCOVA. As a STATA homework help expert if you can help me answer both the assignments, then I will hire you for my Statistics Assignment Help.

 
At April 11, 2021 at 12:20 AM , Blogger Bill Camp said...

Most of the Matlab Homework Help experts are very passionate about the service that they offer here. I can quickly tell it from their solutions. They're determined to write clear solutions that are easy to understand even by programming rookies. What's more, these solutions are always accurate and free from plagiarism issues. Thanks for Matlab Assignment Help for winning grades. They made me the best in my class.

 
At April 11, 2021 at 12:21 AM , Blogger Bill Camp said...

How do I know that you are going to offer me quality economics homework helpeconomics homework help? I am just so afraid of these online platforms. I know some are genuine but the problem is proving the genuine ones and the ones that are not genuine. Can I see your economics assignment help past work? I think that would help me know the type of expert you are.

 
At April 11, 2021 at 12:27 AM , Blogger Bill Camp said...

How do I know that you are going to offer me quality economics homework helpeconomics homework help? I am just so afraid of these online platforms. I know some are genuine but the problem is proving the genuine ones and the ones that are not genuine. Can I see your economics assignment help past work? I think that would help me know the type of expert you are.

 
At April 11, 2021 at 12:30 AM , Blogger Bill Camp said...

The Programming Homework Help
expert went out of the way and did even more than I asked him to do. I've fallen for his rich knowledge of Java and how he perfectly organizes his solutions for the student's easy revision. It's never easy to bump into such genius Java Homework Help
specialists that charge only a few bucks to get the job done perfectly.

 
At April 14, 2021 at 3:32 AM , Blogger milad said...



http://progforum.ir/members/kayley.9520/#about

 
«Oldest ‹Older 201 – 216 of 216

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home