Mission And Purpose:
BTC is a network of theatre practitioners who self-identify as members of the Black/African Diaspora. We activate our collective resources to amplify, nurture and support the work of Black theaters and practitioners through advocacy, convening, networking and knowledge-sharing.
In 2013, the National Black Theatre (NBT) assembled 19 black theatre administrators from across the country in response to the terrifying reality that black theaters nationwide were quietly becoming extinct. The convening illuminated that Black theatres are dying from a lack of accessible resources and failing infrastructures. The Black Theatre Commons began meeting at Theatre Communication Group’s (TCG) 2014 National Conference as an immediate response to NBT’s “Catalyst” convening, with the goal of developing strategies around stabilization and sustainability. Collectively, BTC members represent over 100 years of institutional knowledge; differing in location, infrastructure, operating budget, focus and aesthetic. Our goal is to create a new foundation of actionable strategies that support Black theaters and Black practitioners.
The creation of the Black Theatre Commons (BTC) is birthed out of a need within the field for an arts service institution that can provide infrastructure to Black Theatres and Black individual practitioners. Our institution is founded on the practice of working from a commons methodology which is working to design systems that allow for resources to be accessible to all members of the chosen community. The BTC is committed to deepening our leadership and analysis by combining the commons method with field wide best practice to lead with equity, diversity, and inclusion in all staff, volunteers, and audiences, including full participation in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making.
“You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”
author, poet, memoirist and civil rights activist
THE BTC STEERING COMMITTEE:
Daniel Bryant, Community Programs Director and Artistic Producer – CenterStage
Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director – National Black Theatre
David D. Mitchell, Associate Artistic Director – Arena Players Incorporated
Hana Sharif, Artistic Director – The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Harold Steward, Interim Executive Director – The Theatre Offensive
Meredith Suttles, Director of Development – Theatre Works USA
Ekundayo Bandele, Founder & Chief Executive Officer – Hattiloo Theatre
Mica Cole, Repertory Producer – Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director – The Oregon Shakespeare Festival
JaMeeka Holloway, Artistic Director – Black Ops Theatre Company
Sharifa Johka, Interim Director of Diversity – Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Dafina McMillan, Co-Founder – Crux
Carmen Morgan, Founder & Executive Director– artEquity
Dr. Shondrika Moss-Bolden, Co-founder – Soulploitation Creative Works LLC
Phaedra Scott, Dramaturg – Black Theatre Commons, New Harmony Project
David Stewart, Production Manager – Disney Parks Live Entertainment
Yolanda Williams, Co-Founder/ Director – Blue Light Underground Ensemble
Kelvin Dinkins Jr.