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Arts Advocacy and Arts Policy

Questions and ideas around the relationship between the arts and government are explored in this section, including a guide to advocating for the arts at a national level in the United States, a vision for a new Green Federal Theatre Project, and many pieces about arts policy in cities and countries around the world.

The Latest

Afghan Art and Activism: Panel Discussion
Video
Afghan Art and Activism: Panel Discussion
Friday 17 September 2021
Seattle, Washington, United States
The Design of Change
Essay
The Design of Change
by Clint Ramos, LINDSAY JONES
31 August 2021
The Price of Pay Activism
Essay
The Price of Pay Activism
by Genevieve Beller, Elsa Hiltner
2 September 2021
Afghan Art and Activism Panel event poster.
Afghan Art and Activism: Panel Discussion
Video

Afghan Art and Activism: Panel Discussion

Friday 17 September 2021
Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle Rep presents a panel discussion on Afghan art and activism livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 17 September 2021 at 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. PDT (Seattle, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. - 9 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Creating Boston 2021 poster art.
Creating Boston 2021: Celebrating Creative Joy and Community Engagement (ASL and Live Captions)
Video

Creating Boston 2021: Celebrating Creative Joy and Community Engagement (ASL and Live Captions)

Featuring performances by Boston artists, statements from Mayoral Candidates on their vision for arts and culture, and tips for how YOU can engage in the upcoming city elections

Thursday 9 September 2021
Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Join creatives and cultural supporters across Boston for this virtual event powered by the Create the Vote Boston. Livestreaming on the commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 9 September 2021 at 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. EDT (Boston, UTC -4) / 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7).

A black and white image of a flower and a raised fist drawn on a portion of a wooden door with a hinge.
The Price of Pay Activism
Essay

The Price of Pay Activism

2 September 2021

Genevieve Beller and Elsa Hiltner discuss exploitation and abuse in the theatre field, pay equity, how there should always be space for people to learn and move forward in a better way, and more.

Clint and Lindsay wearing semi-formal attire and smiling in front of a background with "Playwrights" all over it.
The Design of Change
Essay

The Design of Change

31 August 2021

Lindsay Jones and Clint Ramos discuss the intersection of art and activism, as well as the paths they take to create meaningful change for the next generation of theatremakers.

artist headshots on red background with wu tang clan logo and text mu tang clan.
Mu Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing to F### With
Video

Mu Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing to F### With

Asian American Playwrights on Craft

Monday 30 August 2021
United States

Theater Mu presented a conversation: Mu Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing to F### With livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 30 August 2021.

event poster for wingspace virtual salon on pay equity.
Pay Equity in the Theatre Industry
Video

Pay Equity in the Theatre Industry

How we can embrace our shared responsibility to hold institutions accountable and advocate where we have agency

Thursday 22 July 2021
United States

Wingspace Theatrical Design presented a Virtual Salon on Pay Equity in the Theatre Industry livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 22 July 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

A Palestinian flag that says, "End Israeli Apartheid! Free Palestine. Boycott-Divest-Sanction. NorCalSocialism.org/SocialistWorker.org."
It is Long Past Time for American Theatres to Boycott Israel
Essay

It is Long Past Time for American Theatres to Boycott Israel

12 July 2021

Fargo Tbakhi argues it is long past time for the American theatre to listen to Palestinian colleagues and to collectively and immediately commit to Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.

Left: Three actors in black with two of them sitting on the ground and looking down. The actor in the center looks up and sits on a higher level. Right: Three actors standing side-by-side.
When Arts Presenters and Creative Independent Producers Come Together
Essay

When Arts Presenters and Creative Independent Producers Come Together

3 June 2021

The International Presenting Commons shares a statement on how and why arts presenters and creative independent producers have come together to sustain and evolve a commitment to international cultural exchange and engagement.

portraits of Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly.
SEGAL TALKS with Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly (NYC)
Video

SEGAL TALKS with Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly (NYC)

Join us for a conversation about curating, producing and presenting theatre and performance in the Time of Corona

Thursday 6 May 2021
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS with Lucien Zayan and Raja Feather Kelly (NYC) livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

An illustration of multiple hands assembling a broken art piece.
Reimagining Public Theatres as Collectively Organized Cultural Institutions
Essay

Reimagining Public Theatres as Collectively Organized Cultural Institutions

28 April 2021

Zenkő Bogdán believes public cultural institutions should be redefined from the perspective of the people around it: it’s artists, employees, and audiences. As an exercise, she has begun to reimagine a future public theatre’s rules of organizing and functioning—and wants each and every reader of the document to participate.

a person handing over a ticket
Pay Equity
Essay

Pay Equity

What’s In It For Theatre Companies?

6 January 2021

Elsa Hiltner examines the value of pay equity in the theatre through a fresh lens: how it benefits companies.

a group of actors onstage
The Ableist Effects of Creating “Post-Pandemic Theatre” During a Pandemic
Essay

The Ableist Effects of Creating “Post-Pandemic Theatre” During a Pandemic

8 December 2020

Allie Marotta discusses how a new realm of accessibility opened up with remote performances but argues that the rush to return to in-person events is leaving disabled and high-risk populations behind.

The marquee for the San Diego Civic Center
Should I Stay or Should I Go
Essay

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Job Loss for New Graduates and Young Professionals

7 December 2020

Concerned with how the lockdowns have affected recent theatre graduates and young professionals, Kristin Perkins spoke to eighteen such artists across the United States about what it’s been like for them and offers some suggestions for the months ahead.

european theatre forum 2020 event graphic.
European Theatre Forum 2020
Video

European Theatre Forum 2020

European Performing Arts in Focus

Wednesday 11 November to Friday 13 November 2020
European Union

An international platform for vision, discourse, exchange, networking and policymaking to strategically strengthen the structurally highly fragmented European theatre and performing arts sector.

blue graphic of actor onstage against yellow background
(Re)Imagine Civic Theater (ASL interpreted and live captioned)
Video

(Re)Imagine Civic Theater (ASL interpreted and live captioned)

A series by Seattle Rep that brings artists and community leaders together

Thursday 29 October 2020
United States

Seattle Rep presented (Re)Imagine Civic Theater livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 29 October 2020 at 5 p.m. PDT (Seattle, UTC -7) / 6 p.m. MDT (Denver, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Activating the Cultural Power of a Movement
Video

Activating the Cultural Power of a Movement

Leaders from racial justice, environmental justice, immigrant rights, and economic justice groups share strategies for building movement power together

Friday 9 October 2020
United States

The US Department of Arts and Culture, Arts & Democracy, and Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY) presented the conversation Activating the Cultural Power of a Movement livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 9 October 2020 at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

image of woman wearing mask in orange environment
ROOTS Week 2020: The Fierce Urgency of Now
Video

ROOTS Week 2020: The Fierce Urgency of Now

Annual meeting of Alternate ROOTS: a coalition committed to building a just world through arts, community, and activism

Friday 18 September to Sunday 4 October 2020
United States

Alternate ROOTS presented ROOTS Week Annual Meeting & Artists’ Retreat livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Friday 18 September to Sunday 4 October 2020.

Pink background, text: safe havens in big yellow font. Below in black smaller letters, Freedom Talks @ ArtsEquator.
Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia: Proxy Wars
Video

Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia: Proxy Wars

A panel on recent arts and culture censorship

Friday 25 September 2020
Southeast Asia

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented the panel Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia: Proxy Wars in collaboration with ArtsEquator livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 25 September 2020 at 8:30 p.m. SGT (Singapore, UTC +8) / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 13:30 BST (London, UTC +1) / 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

graphic of faces with text OUR VOTES OUR FUTURES OUR VOTES OUR VOICES
We Decide: Arts, Culture and Voting Power
Video

We Decide: Arts, Culture and Voting Power

Inspiring nonpartisan programs in both urban and rural communities related to the election and census

Monday 14 September 2020
United States

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture presented We Decide: Arts, Culture and Voting Power livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 14 September at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

scan of a vintage text
The New Antitheatrical Prejudice
Essay

The New Antitheatrical Prejudice

18 August 2020

Seth Wilson argues that the relatively low reputation of the study and pursuit of theatre is the primary way antitheatricalism manifests itself today.

headshot of carlton turner
Alchemy of the Reset with Carlton Turner
Video

Alchemy of the Reset with Carlton Turner

hosted and created by YBCA Senior Fellows Brett Cook and Liz Lerman

Wednesday 1 July 2020
United States

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presented Alchemy of the Reset with Carlton Turner livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 1 July 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

headshot of pedro noguera
Alchemy of the Reset with Pedro Noguera
Video

Alchemy of the Reset with Pedro Noguera

hosted and created by YBCA Senior Fellows Brett Cook and Liz Lerman

Wednesday 24 June 2020
United States

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presented Alchemy of the Reset with Pedro Noguera livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 24 June 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

headshot of natalie diaz
Alchemy of the Reset with Natalie G. Diaz
Video

Alchemy of the Reset with Natalie G. Diaz

hosted and created by YBCA Senior Fellows Brett Cook and Liz Lerman

Wednesday 17 June 2020
United States

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presented Alchemy of the Reset with Natalie G. Diaz livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 17 June 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Safe Havens Freedom Talks banner.
Safe Havens Freedom Talks: Ramy Essam and The Balaha Case
Video

Safe Havens Freedom Talks: Ramy Essam and The Balaha Case

Episode 1

Friday 5 June 2020
Egypt

Meet Ramy Essam, rock star, human rights defender and an important voice in the Egyptian revolution, in conversation on the Balaha case with Alfons Karabuda from UNESCO founded International Music Council (IMC), Andra Matei, Avant-Garde Lawyers – Defending Artists. Sanni Kahilainen, campaign leader and with Ole Reitov, consultant and founder of Freemuse as the moderator.