The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater in Milwaukee, WI—Friday 23 March - Saturday 24 March 2018
Milwaukee Repertory Theater presented the Intersections Summit livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018.
This spring, Milwaukee Repertory Theater hosted the Intersections Summit, a national convening for community engagement practitioners in regional theaters across the country. As large arts organizations add community engagement departments and practices to their institutions at increasing frequencies, the Intersections Summit was a platform for reflection, inquiry, and collaboration.
At the heart of the Intersections Summit is the recognition that community engagement efforts constantly intersect with the work of others—with colleagues in other areas of our organizations, with organizers and leaders in our communities, with donors, trustees, audiences, and artists. The Intersections Summit is an opportunity for practitioners and supporters of community engagement to name the tensions and the strengths that occur at these intersections, to build collective capacity across institutional and geographical borders, and to envision a future for community engagement in the American theater.
Friday 23 March
Keynote Address, featuring Carmen Morgan
4:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CDT (Milwaukee) / 1:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
Saturday 24 March
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. EDT (New York) / 11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. CDT (Milwaukee) / 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. (San Francisco)
- David Mallette (Management Consultants for the Arts)
- Chad Bauman (Milwaukee Repertory Theater)
- Megan Carney (About Face Theatre)
- Amy Wratchford (The American Shakespeare Center)
For a theater to have a successful community engagement and outreach program, it starts with executive leadership, planning, and organizational buy-in. Hear from three Artistic and Managerial leaders on the process at their theaters including successes and challenges at various stages from pre-planning to program development to implementation and analysis. Moderated by David Mallette, Principal of Management Consultants for the Arts, which led the strategic planning process resulting in the creation of Mpact at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
“Shifting Organizational Culture & Building Buy-in: Case Studies in Relaxed and Sensory-friendly Performances”
12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CDT (Milwaukee) / 9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco)
- Marcie Bramucci (People’s Light)
- Erica Nagel (McCarter Theatre Center)
- Megan Diehl (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival)
Representatives from McCarter Theatre Center, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and People’s Light will highlight how mission driven collective action among a cohort of six regional theaters addressed accessibility and inclusivity needs through the production of Relaxed Performances (RPs), supported by TCG’s Audience (R)Evolutions program. Through the introduction of these specially adjusted, sensory-friendly performances the discussion will examine the process and sustainability of collective action in community engagement and its impact on organizational culture. Through cross-learning, shared resources, and the establishment of a “brand” for this work, this cohort of partnering theatres produced 12 RPs in less than two years and has paved the way for future expanded collaboration. Findings from the cooperative process include building effective community partnerships, addressing inclusive practices, and increasing organizational buy-in on multiple levels. Individual case studies from each of the three representative theaters will be followed by a Q&A.
Finding Common Ground. Building a Collective Framework.
2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. EDT (New York) / 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. CDT (Milwaukee) / 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
- Mary Sutton (Alley Theatre)
Designing an uplifting experience to celebrate a specific community’s personal narrative? Creating lobby displays created by community members to celebrate a neighborhood? Launching a narrative medicine program? Applying art beyond our organizations walls merits a systematic shared point of view to help guide the field, better explain our work and build shared legitimizing language that builds longstanding support for what we do.
Is it Audience Development? Audience Engagement? Community Engagement? Where on the spectrum does my project fit? What should I consider? What does a fiscally responsible models look like? How to determine the true ROI when implementation is so costly?
Let’s dump all our models on the table, merge old and new ideas, and generate cohesive thoughtful dialogue. Our goal: build a strong “rubric” and/or “logic model” to guide our national conversations in and outside of our institutions.
“Competitors to Colleagues: National Models for Engagement, Collaboration, and Community”
4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. EDT (New York) / 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CDT (Milwaukee) / 1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. PDT (San Francisco)
- Nan Barnett (National New Play Network)
- Lisa Adler (Horizon Theatre Company)
- Kristen Jackson (Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company)
Sometimes community lies beyond neighborhoods or city or state borders. How does engagement work with a countrywide constituency? National New Play Network's strategy of turning competitors into collaborators has changed the ways that plays are discovered, shared, and propagated, and how theaters and theater-makers engage with each other to make work. Its programs, including Rolling World Premieres and the New Play Exchange, were created as a part of its mission to champion the development, production, and continued life of new plays and the innovation and implementation of new forms of communication between theaters and theater-makers. The organization awards engagement between theaters, artists, and the field, and NNPN’s partnerships with development and service organizations have led to projects like the National Directors Fellowships and Triple Play study. Can these models for interaction be expanded? How can artist and practitioner engagement be encouraged? And how do we create new intersections for collaborators?
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