The Black Artist Coalition (BAC), a collective of DC-area performers, designers, administrators and arts supporters, announced its purpose and plans today.
The BAC was formed in response to the increasing awareness of both macro- and microaggressions that have more often than not tainted Black artists’ experience in the performing arts industry for centuries, the organization stated in today’s press release.
“There is a quieted disconnect between the Black Artist and the institutions where Black artistry is employed,” said Kevin Stephen McAllister, Founding Member. “Whether it’s lacking awareness or excluding with intention, the Theatre has profited from the Black Artist for years, but never yielded an equal seat at the table. Directors, administrators, and creatives of Black artistry are too often not Black.”
The BAC will be reaching out to theaters to offer their voices and services towards building a safer, more transparent, and more equitable community between Black arts professionals and theatre organizations. Specifically, the BAC plans to serve as a consultant in regards to:
- Hiring talent and staff of diverse demographics
- Advocating for Black employees and artists who don’t feel empowered to do so for themselves
- Establishing an environment of inclusion and representation
The BAC hopes to work with theater organizations to effectively change the impacts of this reality. “In most instances, we are proud of the work we have put on DMV stages,” said Tobias A. Young, Founding Member. “We have given these theaters our best, and now, we want to come together for a moment to establish how theaters might do the same for us.”
The BAC also plans “new works, workshops, presentations and celebrations of all things Black artistry,” Founding Member Char Manlove-Laws announced in the organization’s first video project.
To reach The Black Artist Coalition:
Artists who have questions about the BAC should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Stephen McAllister – Event Planning Lead
Vaughn Ryan Midder – Communications Lead
Sean-Maurice Lynch – Research & Development Lead
Nova Payton – Accountability Lead
Tobias A. Young – Publicity & Community Engagement Lead
Ian Anthony Coleman
Charles A. Coward
Natalie Graves Tucker
ABOUT THE BLACK ARTIST COALITION
The Black Artist Coalition is an assembly of DMV artists and advocates from the Black community who are committed to regionally improving the status of Black actors, theater art administrators, theater designers, and stage directors by adopting and enacting racial, cultural, and ethnic policies that are equitable; advocating for language and stories of inclusivity; representing the collective mindset of the organization; and by offering support to Black artists to hold accountable and dismantle biased practices within regional and local arts organizations