SWAN Day Milwaukee 2019: Artist Profiles

Now in its 4th year, SWAN Day Milwaukee is celebrating the power and diversity of women’s creativity with “Water: Reflection, Ritual & Resource”, an art exhibit at the Urban Ecology Center. SWAN Day MKE exhibitions explore themes of women’s artistic & spiritual connections to nature, and how these roots nourish one’s work, activism, and daily living.

Over one-hundred women-identified artists of all ages, disciplines and levels of artistic experience residing in Milwaukee and surrounding areas have been invited to participate in an informal, non-juried celebration and exhibition. SWAN Day MKE participants reflect on the topic of water and create a piece that expresses their thoughts, relationship, experience, or practice related to water and  how it connects us to place, people, ritual, and ancestry.

Jamie Bilgo Bruchman, the lead organizer of SWAN Day MKE says, “The response to this year’s theme has been outstanding, and we are delighted once again to welcome dozens of new artists from a diverse range of artistic backgrounds, ages, cultures, and mediums.”  Women from all over the greater Milwaukee area are coming together for what promises to be an amazing celebration.

The exhibition runs from March 23rd to June 1st. There is also an opening reception on Saturday, March 23rd from noon to 3pm. For more information, connect with SWAN Day MKE on Facebook.

Selection of Artist Profiles from SWAN Day MKE 2019:

Rozalia Hernandez-Singh, known as Aya, started drawing from a young age. Her work includes indoor and outdoor murals in the Milwaukee area and she has worked as a professional caricaturist for over 20 years in the Wisconsin and Illinois area. She is also illustrator for the book, "I am a girl of color," with author Deanna Singh. Learn more at www.artsbyaya.com.

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Brianna Joy Seipel is an artist and designer whose work celebrates stories of dynamic women and the landscapes that inspire us. You can find her on Instagram.

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Nova Czarnecki is a Milwaukee-based figurative oil painter and muralist. Learn more at www.novaczarnecki.com.

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Rosy Petri is a quilter, print-maker, chef, artist, and owner of Paradise Home. She is also the recent recipient of the Pfister Artist in Residence. You can find Rosy on Etsy, Instagram, and at www.thisisparadisehome.com.

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Whitney Salgado is an artist and illustrator. A graduate from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Whitney is a 27 year-old digital artist studying and living in Wisconsin. She enjoys exploring color and is inspired by nature, dreams, and surrealism. While she prefers working digitally, she is also practiced in traditional media and picks up acrylics from time to time. Find her work at www.whitneysalgado.com.

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Tara Monnink is a papermaker, printmaker, and photographer. She is also a RedLine Milwaukee Artist in Residence. You can find Tara on Instagram.

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Liala Amin’s artwork is an interpretation of spiritual experiences and an exploration of religious symbols. Her ultimate goal is to share the importance of the arts, keep art education accessible, and create welcoming spaces where all are free to express themselves. Liala also serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for SWAN Day MKE 2019. Find Liala on Instagram and at Creative Mornings Milwaukee.

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Stacy Lee Ollmann is a Milwaukee artist working primarily in mixed media sculpture and alcohol ink. She lives and works a short walk from the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. You can learn more about her work at www.stacyleeollmann.com.

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Megan Johnson is a mixed media artist living in West Bend, WI. By layering vintage paper ephemera with paint, various drawing media and found objects she tells evocative stories which speak to universal experiences as well as personal memories. You can find Megan’s work on Instagram and at www.meganwoodardjohnson.com.

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Happy International Women's Day from StateraArts

Happy International Women's Day! Statera takes our name from the Latin word for Balance, so we are super excited about this year's theme: Better For Balance! A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world? Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. And that is what StateraArts is all about!

The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long. It doesn't end on International Women’s Day. There are lots of way to get involved and take action:

Become a Statera Member:
www.stateraarts.org/membership

Join a Statera Mentorship chapter:
www.stateraarts.org/mentroship

Attend Statera’s International Conference in NYC:
www.stateraarts.org/confernce

Make use of the FREE Statera Directory for women artists:
www.stateraarts.org/resources

Support Statera's mission with a donation:
www.stateraarts.org/donate

As part of our ongoing efforts to increase the visibility of women artists, StateraArts puts the spotlight on women artists every March and April through Support Women Artists Now Day. SWAN Day is an annual international celebration of women’s creativity and gender parity activism. Join us!

Visit the SWAN Calendar:
www.stateraarts.org/swan-calendar

Add your event to the SWAN Calendar:
www.stateraarts.org/add-swan-event


A Note on Inclusion at StateraArts

Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also serve and welcome those who identify as non-binary. 

Intersectionality: StateraArts works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, parental status, size, age, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all. 

Erin Prather Stafford Launches “Girls That Create”

Erin Prather Stafford

Erin Prather Stafford

by Sarah Greenman

“The media is in a state of great disruption, but despite all of the change, one thing remains the same: the role of women is significantly smaller than that of men in every part of news, entertainment and digital media.” -Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center.

As the mother to two young girls and holder of a Master’s degree in Gender and International Development, Erin Prather Stafford is acutely aware that fixing gender imbalances in the media is key to changing gender disparity everywhere. That’s why she has just launched Girls That Create.

Several years ago, Erin joined the production team for WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The documentary explores the enduring legacy of Wonder Woman and how powerful women are often portrayed in mainstream media. It also encourages girls to be creators of the media they want to see.

Erin says, “Fast forward to 2019. The need to nourish and inspire girl creators is just as necessary now as it was then. Although women currently comprise half of the U.S. population, mass media continues to show them in much smaller numbers. This underrepresentation is also true for women who are behind the scenes, creating.”

Consider The Numbers

  • A 2019 report found 69 percent of news wire bylines (AP and Reuters) are snagged by men; 31 percent by women. (Women’s Media Center)

  • In 2018, women comprised just four percent of directors working on the top 100 films, eight percent on the top 250 films, and 15 percent on the top 500 films. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

  • A recent study of 820,000 exhibitions across the public and commercial sectors, only one third were by women artists. (The Art Newspaper)

  • Another 2019 study on the music industry revealed female songwriters and producers are vastly outnumbered. Across seven years, 12.3 percent of songwriters of the songs were female. More than half (57 percent) of the 633 songs examined did not credit one woman as a songwriter. (USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative)

Erin, a freelance writer and producer, became interested in the media’s portrayal of women while earning her communication degree at St. Edward’s University. This inspired pursuit of her MA from the University of Warwick. She also currently serves on the board for the Women Texas Film Festival.

Girls That Create will have posts and resources for developing creative thinking, boosting confidence, growing skill sets and constructing beneficial environments. The site will also offer practical tips and product reviews.

Erin says that March is the perfect month to launch her new platform. “Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, SWAN Day - what’s not to love? My goal is for caregivers and girls to find Girls That Create empowering and for the site to help spark future female creators.”

 
 

Visit Girls That Create online at www.girlsthatcreate.com and also on Facebook.

An Actress Prepares: Tiffany Hobbs Talks About the Law of Averages

It's Wednesday, which means its time for another installment of “An Actress Prepares” with Tiffany Denise Hobbs. Tiffany’s series offers mentorship for early career theatre artists as well as valuable insight for anyone wanting to know more about what it means to be a working actor. Click HERE to view last week’s episode.

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An Actress Prepares: The Law of Averages

by Tiffany Denise Hobbs

Hey Statera! We are in the thick of pilot season and this year. I have been fortunate to have had a couple of auditions for series regulars in upcoming television pilots. For the first of my pilot auditions, I even got a callback and found myself at ABC Casting in New York City for the very first time in my life (mark my word- it won’t be the last).

So today I want to talk about a concept that has helped enhanced my outlook on auditions: The Law of Averages. I haven’t a clue what, if anything, will come from my recent auditions, but I don’t believe any of it has been in vain. I also know that there will be more to come.


Tiffany Hobbs was born and raised in Augusta, GA. Tiffany began dancing at the age of three. In the years following, she discovered a love for theater and music that augmented her passion to be a performing artist. She has trained for over two decades at prestigious liberal and performing arts institutions (UGA, SMU, Yale) and loves every minute of imitating life onstage, on set or in a rehearsal room. A former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center and featured actress at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, some of her favorite roles include Juanita in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie, Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Tonya in August Wilson's King Hedley II.

Tiffany appeared as Shenzi in the National Tour of The Lion King for two years (2015-2017). On TV, she can be found co-starring in Donald Glover's FX hit, "Atlanta"; Netflix's "Ozark" and "The Haunting of Hill House"; the OWN Network's "Love Is ___"; CBS's "MacGyver," "Bull" and "Code Black"; and in SyFy's "Happy." In 2018, Tiffany joined the Broadway musical, Waitress, spear-headed by Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson and Diane Paulus.

More at www.tiffanydenisehobbs.com

Uplift & Amplify: February #SWANSunday Artists

SWAN Day means Support Women Artists Now Day. It is an annual international celebration of women’s creativity and gender parity activism. It happens on the last Saturday in March. But we don’t have to wait. We can support women* artists every week!

StateraArts launched a social media campaign in January designed to AMPLIFY the voices and work of women artists as part of SWAN Day. The goal is to flood social media every Sunday with images, quotes, and work from women artists. Below are just a few of the incredible artists YOU amplified during the month of February. Who will you amplify this Sunday?

Find out more about SWAN Day HERE.

Christie Vela - Director and Actor

Christie Vela - Director and Actor

ARTIST: Christie Vela

AMPLIFIED BY: Vanessa DiSilvio

Vanessa says, “This fierce actor and director in Dallas Fort Worth is an inspiration. As a fellow Latina artist, she caught my eye 10 years ago when I first moved to Dallas and I thought to myself, I have to work with this woman.”

Alysia Reiner - Producer and Actor

Alysia Reiner - Producer and Actor

ARTIST: Alysia Reiner

AMPLIFIED BY: Avis Boone

Avis writes, “Guess who's hosting the Women in the Arts & Media 2019 Collaboration Awards Gala on March 30th? Alysia Reiner! Her film EGG (@eggthefilm) will receive the Acclaimed Collaboration Award.”

Neema Bagamuhunda - Dancer and Puppeteer

Neema Bagamuhunda - Dancer and Puppeteer

ARTIST: Neema Bagamuhunda

AMPLIFIED BY: Nyakwar Dowllar

Neema Bagamuhunda is a dancer, choreographer, puppeteer, and story teller from Nairobi, Kenya. Nyakway writes, “Neema is an all around superb artist. Today I celebrate you!”

Julianna Bloodgood - Performer and Educator

Julianna Bloodgood - Performer and Educator

ARTIST: Julianna Bloodgood

AMPLIFIED BY: Sarah Greenman

Sarah writes, “Today for #SWANSunday I want to amplify the work of Julianna Bloodgood - mover, space-maker, story-teller, educator. Julianna's work is fierce and potent beyond imagining.”

Heather Day - Visual Artist

Heather Day - Visual Artist

ARTIST: Heather Day

AMPLIFIED BY: Evangeline Stott

Evangeline writes, “I want to share a special experience I had yesterday. I got to see the work of Heather Day in person. Heather is easily in my top three art heroes. Her exploration of color, genius layering, and delicious textures all make for such playful and captivating work, but what I really admire about her is her sense of self (with who she is as a maker and also with her presence on Instagram). She gives of herself so generously and I appreciate the way she shares her process, her musings, and her beautiful life. Check out her incredible show at Joshua Liner Gallery!!”

Kimberly Faith Hickman - Artistic Director

Kimberly Faith Hickman - Artistic Director

ARTIST: Kimberly Faith Hickman

AMPLIFIED BY: Jackie Vanderbeck

Hickman is an Artistic Director, Director, and Choreographer. Jackie writes, “For #SWANSunday, I want to amplify Kimberly Faith Hickman, founder of the Omaha Community Playhouse Henry Fonda Theatre Academy, a theatre education program teaching life skills through stage skills for youth and adults; as well as creating the Omaha Community Playhouse Directing Fellowship, a professional training program for early and mid-career stage directors.”

Join Statera in Celebration of International SWAN Day

SWAN = Support Women Artists Now

March is Statera's favorite month of the year! Why? Not only is it Women's History Month, but we also celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th and International SWAN Day on March 30th!

As part of our ongoing efforts to increase the visibility of women artists, StateraArts puts the spotlight on women artists every March and April through Support Women Artists Now Day. SWAN Day is an annual international celebration of women’s creativity and gender parity activism. International SWAN Day events are already underway and you're invited to join us!  It’s fun and easy to get involved. Watch the video below!


#SWANSunday

StateraArts launched a campaign in January 2019 designed to AMPLIFY the voices and work of women artists as part of SWAN Day. The goal is to flood social media every Sunday with images, quotes, and work from women artists.

Want to get involved in this powerful social action? It’s easy! UPLIFT and AMPLIFY a woman artist using the hashtag #SWANSunday. Post about them and their work. Pick a new artist every Sunday!

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A Note on Inclusion at StateraArts

Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also serve and welcome those who identify as non-binary. 

Intersectionality: StateraArts works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, parental status, size, age, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all. 

Self-Injurious Behavior: an Interview with Playwright Jessica Cavanagh

International Support Women Artists Now/SWAN Day is fast approaching and the SWAN Day Calendar is filling up with some incredible events. One of these is Self-Injurious Behavior by Dallas-based actress and playwright Jessica Cavanagh. “Self-Injurious Behavior”, which had a hit workshop run at Theatre Three's Theatre Too! in 2018, will move to New York for a showcase at Urban Stages in April. The New York run, April 21-May 5, will feature the Dallas cast, and will again be directed by Marianne Galloway. Statera’s Operations Assistant, Evangeline Stott, reached out to Jessica to have a conversation about this powerful show and Jessica’s journey through motherhood, loss, and the process of writing an autobiographical play with the perfect ratio of truth to laughter.

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Evangeline Stott: Tell me about your process while writing this piece. How long was the writing period?

Jessica Cavanagh: I take a four and a half hour drive to visit my son, Elijah, at his school one weekend per month, which I've been doing ever since we admitted him in the summer of 2012 when he was 12 years old. Driving away from him at the end of those visits has always been hard, but that first year, it was excruciating. I would drive, weep, pull over, get myself together, drive, weep, repeat. Then, one day, during the trip back to Dallas, I started thinking of a play about a divorced woman who recently admitted her autistic son to a group home and was now half-heartedly attempting to date (which was my current situation). On a whim, I recorded myself talking about some pretty intense feelings about my kid and birth and parenthood and imagined it as a really inappropriate over-share moment on a first date. That date doesn't actually happen in the play anymore, but the monologue is still there, almost verbatim. Looking back, it kind of provided the anchor for the piece from the beginning. What followed was a bunch of short bursts of inspiration spread out over nearly three years before a full draft came together, mainly because I couldn't spend more than a day or two focused on telling this story without sinking into a pretty gross pit. It was still so raw. Within a couple years, I'd lost my mom in a car accident, divorced my husband of fourteen years, and admitted my child into a group home because he couldn't stop hurting himself. I was just incredibly not okay. The first informal reading of the first full draft didn't occur until September of 2015.

ES: With this being such a vulnerable and personal story for you, did you share what you were writing with anyone along the way?

JC: After about the first year of random voice notes and writing, I asked a few close friends whom I knew I could trust and whose work I respected to look at the monologue and one early major scene (the toughest in the play, which is based on what I remembered as the worst day I'd ever had with my son). The responses I got really surprised me! People were stunned. Folks who had known me for a decade asked me if this was really true - if what I was writing had really been our lives. I think they were mortified and maybe even hurt to know that their friend had been struggling, and that due to my need to escape my life when I left my house and went to rehearsals or performances, I rarely shared the depths of what we were dealing with at home. And to this day, that's been the most consistent question from everyone who reads or sees the play; people I know, and people I don't: "Is this real?" That question is what made me realize this is bigger than me; this is a story that desperately needs to be told for the sake of every caregiver who sits at home with their loved one and fights despair. So, now I had a mission. And I've always done well with a mission!

Photo by Jeffrey Schmidt

Photo by Jeffrey Schmidt

 ES: Can you tell us a little bit about the title, "Self Injurious Behavior"?

 JC: The phrase "self-injurious behavior" is how doctors and therapists often refer to self-harm, so I heard it a lot over the years in dealing with Elijah. He would bang his head on the hardest, sharpest objects he could find, punch himself in the head with his fists, and bite his arms until he broke the skin, among other pretty horrific things. As I wrote the play the issue of guilt and the idea of punishing one's self for feeling as if you've failed your child and yourself is one that was immediately prevalent in the story and, in fact, became THE story. The connection between my son's self-harm and my emotional self-harm became really clear. We were both beating ourselves to death.

ES: What were your biggest challenges in the first stages of writing and developing "Self Injurious Behavior"?

JC: I think the biggest challenge was sitting down to do it. I had all these ideas swirling and I had a great NEED to get it all down on paper, but forcing myself to really sit with it and what that meant was just very hard. It never seemed like a good day for that, you know? When is it convenient to revisit the most painful moments of your life? Never, ever. Once I got started, though, I was fine. Until I wasn't, at which point I'd stop. It was always just that first move that killed.

 

ES: How did audiences respond to the production at Theatre Three? Have you had the opportunity to dialogue with any audience members with stories similar to yours?

JC: The responses from those audiences were really humbling. People would wait to talk afterwards and some just wanted to look into my eyes and say, "This is my life. Thank you for this," and I'd often end up crying and hugging a stranger - now friend - in the lobby. Even more common, though, were the people who said they had a nephew, grandchild, friend, etc., on the spectrum and they had no idea that this might be what their friends or family were dealing with (or they had a friend who was severely depressed) and they were so thankful to have their eyes opened. It became really clear to me early on in the run that while I had hoped the story would honor and be sort of a love offering to caregivers and anyone struggling with depression, the great thing is it was actually drawing back the curtain on their lives and promoting empathy in others. I felt like I got to actually watch empathy for these issues be born in some people, which was just...it doesn't really get any better than that, you know? Folks would come up afterwards and literally say, "Wow. I've been an asshole. Thank you. And thank you for making me laugh while I figured it out." (I actually think I turned a bunch of people on to Renaissance Faires, too, which gives me no end of nerd-joy!)

Photo by Jordan Fraker

Photo by Jordan Fraker

ES: One of my favorite production images I've seen is that of you sitting among the toys and blankets with your son’s Peter Pan-like shadow over you. Can you tell us a little bit about Peter Pan, and the significance of him in this story?

JC: My kiddo is obsessed with all things Disney. He had a Peter Pan Halloween costume that he loved, and when he was 11-12, he looked a lot like a cross between Christopher Robin and Peter Pan. I still get mom heart-pangs whenever I see either of those characters anywhere (yeah, he's 19, leave me alone!)  It took me some time to settle on how closely I wanted the character of Benjamin to resemble Elijah in the play, but at the end of the day, I decided to keep things simple and tell the truth as much as possible, so I've given Benjamin an obsession with Peter Pan. And, as it turns out, there's just something really lovely and poignant about the parallels between a kid like Benjamin and the boy who never grows up. It felt really right for the play.

ES: Can you talk a bit about what its like to be a single mother and work in the theatre? Especially being a single mother of a child with special needs? What resources did you have or not have?

JC: Well, I was very lucky when my son was younger because my mom lived nearby, so, between her and a couple of sitters who were like family and knew Elijah and his routine and wouldn't flip out if he had a meltdown, I was able to cobble together a childcare team while I rehearsed. I was actually still married at that point, but my husband was in a band and traveled the majority of the time so it was almost always just Elijah and me. And I'll be honest, those years were mostly hell, and to this day, I have such admiration for the single moms I know in theatre who make it happen. Being with your kid all the time is hard. Being with your kid all the time when your kid is screaming and banging his head and never sleeps for longer than two hours at a time is actually dangerous. So, at the end of the day, theatre was my refuge and I did whatever I needed to do and bribed whatever sitter I needed to bribe in order to get where I needed to go. I think I subconsciously knew that it was the only thing keeping me (and subsequently, Elijah) alive, so I fought for it like it was life or death. But, of course, a boatload of guilt accompanied me every time I left the house, because, motherhood.

ES: What has it been like to play yourself on stage? How do you feel about doing so again this spring?

JC: It’s been different than I expected, thankfully! Super weird in some ways, for sure - mostly to do with the nauseating pre-show jitters every night which have nothing to do with being nervous about the acting and everything to do with knowing the audience is aware (if they read their playbill!) that this is my story and I really said and did many of these things. The fear of judgement was acute, especially when we first opened (I ran to the bathroom a whole lot, y'all.) But, thankfully, I've found that once I'm in character out on stage, it's really just like playing any other role. And Summer isn't one hundred percent me. Some pretty major details from my life were changed for the play (I have one wonderful sister, and I gave Summer two, for example, because I just liked the dynamic of three). So, that really helps separate Summer from myself a bit and gives me the freedom to approach her the same way I would anything else.

Photo by Jordan Fraker with Jennifer Kuenzer.

Photo by Jordan Fraker with Jennifer Kuenzer.

ES: What are you most looking forward to with this New York production of “Self Injurious Behavior"?

JC: It’s so big...this thought of bringing a thing to the NY market. Right now, I keep thinking about the first laugh. The first time I hear a NY audience laugh at something I wrote, I really might just happily drop dead. And I can't wait to look into the faces of my production team and cast mates (now family) on opening night and be excited dorks together! I feel so lucky to get to share this experience with such dear friends, some of whom have been with the play through years of development, such as Marianne Galloway, our director. The blood, sweat, and tears of so many people have been poured into creating this thing, so getting to bring it to NY together is truly a dream come true.

ES: How has being Elijah’s mom shaped you into who you are now? What insights have you made because of your role as his mother?

JC: Elijah has shaped me so completely that it's almost impossible to pinpoint how. I was twenty-four when he was born, so I was still growing up, myself. He shaped who I was becoming in a very real way. I don't like to think about who I was before he existed, not because I hate myself but because I think he made me infinitely better and I prefer that person. Watching him grow up and struggle against a cruel and terrifying world has made me appreciate goodness and kindness when I find it to a degree that I never did before, which in turn effects my personal relationships. It’s funny how when you learn to value kindness and unselfish love above all things, the toxic relationships in your life tend to stick out like a sore thumb and make your path pretty freakin' clear.

ES: Mentorship is at the core of StateraArts' mission. Can you tell us about your mentors and how they have guided you and your work?

JC: I feel like I've had seasonal mentors - people who cross my path at a certain point to guide me through a certain thing, be it spiritual or artistic. Lately I've felt the nudge to find a seasoned, female-identifying playwright and be her spongey sidekick, just soaking up all her wisdom. I had some wonderful guides as I put Self-Injurious Behavior together and I'm so incredibly grateful to them! The thing is, they're all men, and I'm feeling a strong urge to connect with other women right now, particularly in the professional realm. So, HEY, if Paula Vogel just happens to be reading this and feels like having a weird rando obsessively trail her (and almost definitely ask far too many questions about Indecent), I'm your girl, Paula! 

ES: And lastly, is there anything else you'd like the StateraArts community to know about you and your work? 

JC: I’ve rambled way too long already!! I'd rather take the opportunity to say how much I appreciate StateraArts and your mission, and your willingness to talk with a new girl about her thing. Y'all rock. Thanks for all you do!

Interested in attending a performance of “Self-Injurious Behavior” in NYC? You’ll find it on the 2019 SWAN Day Calendar HERE.


About Jessica

Jessica Cavanagh is a Dallas-based theatre artist, voice talent, and writer whose work in the DFW area spans the past fifteen years. As an actor, she’s been recognized numerous times by the DFW Critics Forum as well as the Column Awards, including last season’s Critics Forum Award for her semi-autobiographical role in her play, Self-Injurious Behavior (Theatre Three). Selected regional acting work includes: Outside Mullingar, August: Osage County, Doubt, and The Glass Menagerie (all at WaterTower Theatre), Heisenberg (Theatre Three), Mr. Burns: a post-electric play (Stage West), ‘Night, Mother (Echo Theatre), and Port Twilight (Undermain). As a staff writer with Funimation Entertainment, she’s adapted hundreds of episodes of Japanese anime for an English-speaking audience and has also worked extensively as an actor in their English broadcast dubs, so you can hear her giddily voicing roles on Cartoon Network in shows such as Attack on Titan, One Piece, and My Hero Academia, and many others.

Isabella Abel-Suarez Joins Statera as Executive Assistant

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Last week, StateraArts announced that Isabella Abel-Suarez was joining the Statera team as Executive Assistant to Melinda Pfundstein. Isabella is an actress, singer, and dancer from Las Vegas, NV. She is a graduate of Southern Utah University with a BFA in musical theatre and a minor in dance performance. During her final year at SUU, Isabella served as artistic director of Second Studio Theatre Company, a student-run theatre organization.

When asked about working with Statera, Isabella said, “I have a passion for creating and presenting art that is accessible to all humans around the world and hope to use my involvement with Statera as a way to learn how to make those passions realities.”

StateraArts is thrilled to be working with Isabella and invites you to learn more about her at www.stateraarts.org/abel-suarez.

An Actress Prepares: Tiffany Hobbs Talks About Self Care

It's Wednesday, which means its time for another installment of “An Actress Prepares” with Tiffany Denise Hobbs. Today’s offering is for ALL ARTISTS - it applies to everyone! Tiffany’s series offers mentorship for early career theatre artists as well as valuable insight for anyone wanting to know more about what it means to be a working actor. Click HERE to view last week’s episode.


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AN ACTRESS PREPARES: SELF CARE

by Tiffany Denise Hobbs

Hello Statera and welcome back! In this episode, I talk about self-care as an actress and one of my favorite ways to do it: with the help of Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way".


Tiffany Hobbs was born and raised in Augusta, GA. Tiffany began dancing at the age of three. In the years following, she discovered a love for theater and music that augmented her passion to be a performing artist. She has trained for over two decades at prestigious liberal and performing arts institutions (UGA, SMU, Yale) and loves every minute of imitating life onstage, on set or in a rehearsal room. A former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center and featured actress at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, some of her favorite roles include Juanita in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie, Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Tonya in August Wilson's King Hedley II.

Tiffany appeared as Shenzi in the National Tour of The Lion King for two years (2015-2017). On TV, she can be found co-starring in Donald Glover's FX hit, "Atlanta"; Netflix's "Ozark" and "The Haunting of Hill House"; the OWN Network's "Love Is ___"; CBS's "MacGyver," "Bull" and "Code Black"; and in SyFy's "Happy." In 2018, Tiffany joined the Broadway musical, Waitress, spear-headed by Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson and Diane Paulus.

More at www.tiffanydenisehobbs.com

Statera Mentorship Chapters Explode Across the U.S.

Statera Mentorship Chapter Map.jpg

by Sarah Greenman

The national launch of Statera Mentorship was announced in October 2018 at Statera’s International Conference in Milwaukee, WI. Since the announcement, regional chapters have exploded across the United States. Last month at Statera’s monthly team meeting, National Mentorship Co-Director Minita Gandhi said, “The response has been astounding.”

Mentorship is at the core of Statera's mission of taking positive action to bring women* into full and equal participation in the arts. Melinda Pfundstein, Statera’s Executive Director, said, “Professional mentorship for women is a positive, proactive, and proven way to counter gender imbalance in the workplace.” And as Nataki Garrett highlighted in her keynote at Statera’s national conference last October, mentor relationships build stronger talent pipelines for open leadership positions in the arts industry.

A flourishing mentor relationship helps both mentor and mentee organize their professional challenges, nurture their creative ideas and activate their personal gifts. StateraArts works to connect women artists interested in moving beyond the very real obstacles that sometimes lie between their goals and their opportunities.

The duration of each mentorship class is 6-months. StateraArts runs the program from January-June and July-December. In addition to one-on-one engagement with a mentor/mentee, each Mentorship Class enjoys a networking mixer with the entire class.

Photo by Antje Kastner

Photo by Antje Kastner

While classes are already underway in Chicago and North Carolina, the newly formed chapters will start their first class of mentorship pairings on July 1, 2019. New chapters include Boston Area, California Central Coast, Ithaca, Los Angeles, Louisville, Milwaukee, New York City, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, San Francisco Bay Area, and Southern Texas. And plans are already in the works for chapters in Alabama, Dallas / Fort Worth, Iowa, Salt Lake, Seattle, Southern Idaho, and Southern Utah.

“Establishing a Statera Mentorship chapter in your community is an incredibly rewarding and exciting endeavor - and you don’t have to re-invent the wheel,” says National Mentorship Co-Director Erika Haaland. StateraArts has created materials and resources that will equip regional coordinators with the tools they'll need to create a lasting and successful program. They’ll have access to organizational systems, email templates, the Statera Mentorship Field Guide, and face-time with Statera’s National Co-Directors.

Siobhan Doherty, the founder of the Los Angeles Chapter said, “It's incredible to feel like you're not building something in a void, but instead have the support of women who have done this before, and are working with you to create change for women in the arts.”

If you’re interested in engaging as a mentor or mentee (or both), please visit www.stateraarts.org/mentorship to select your region and apply. For those who have questions about Statera Mentorship, StateraArts provides an excellent FAQ page on their website: www.stateraarts.org/mentorship-faq. And for those who don’t see their region listed on the map above, National Co-Director Minita Gandhi says, “Join us! You can start a chapter at any time in your community. We’re here to help you do it.”

Lia Mortensen, a 30-year veteran actor in Chicago, went through the program last year. She says she was thrilled to be a mentor and give back to women in the business. "There was nothing like this when I was starting out,” said Mortensen. “Not only has it been an intensely rewarding experience to help my mentee in all areas of Chicago theatre, but I also discovered the wealth of knowledge I have attained over the years and the immense value of it."

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Photos above are all from a 2018 Chicago Chapter mentorship mixer. (Photos by Antje Kastner)


A Love Letter from StateraArts

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HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


This is a love letter to YOU - our incredible donors and supporters! Whether you donated directly, became a member, participated in Statera Mentorship, attended our conference, wrote for the Statera Blog, volunteered at an event, or supported a program with your time and energy, YOU have contributed to the success of Statera’s work for gender balance in the arts. Thanks to YOU and the support of the entire Statera community, 2018 was the most expansive and exciting year StateraArts has ever had.
 

THANK YOU...
 

...for supporting the national expansion of Statera Mentorship with the launch of 15 new regional chapters (and more coming).


THANK YOU...


...for supporting our third National Conference in Milwaukee! Your contribution allowed us to bring in theatre and film luminaries like Hana Sharif, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Gail Barringer, and Nataki Garrett to give touchstone addresses.


THANK YOU...
 

...for supporting the launch of our free resource directory, which houses a treasure-trove of valuable information for emerging and established artists alike.


THANK YOU...


...for supporting the launch of Statera Membership- a community for anyone interested in advancing their art careers through the lens of intersectional gender-parity.


THANK YOU...


....for supporting the Statera Team (pictured below). Your donations have allowed our organization to transition from an all-volunteer team to one that is supported in the work. It is an exciting time at StateraArts and we owe it all to you!

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THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR MISSION
to take positive action to bring women* 
into full and equal participation in the arts.

Love, 
The StateraArts Team


*A NOTE ON INCLUSION AT STATERA

Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also serve and welcome those who identify as non-binary. 

Intersectionality: StateraArts works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, parental status, size, age, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all. 

An Actress Prepares: Tiffany Hobbs Talks About the F-Word

It's Wednesday, which means its time for another installment of “An Actress Prepares” with Tiffany Denise Hobbs! StateraArts uplifts and amplifies women* artists in all genres, but we also recognize our strong theatre roots. Tiffany’s series offers mentorship for early career theatre artists as well as valuable insight for anyone wanting to know more about what it means to be a working actor. Click HERE to view last week’s episode.

Jason Moody Photography

Jason Moody Photography

AN ACTRESS PREPARES: The F Word

by Tiffany Denise Hobbs

Hey Statera! In this episode, I get real personal and talk about "failure" and how it has affected me as a performing artist. And I also talk about one of my favorite quotes: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit.” - Napoleon Hill


Tiffany Hobbs was born and raised in Augusta, GA. Tiffany began dancing at the age of three. In the years following, she discovered a love for theater and music that augmented her passion to be a performing artist. She has trained for over two decades at prestigious liberal and performing arts institutions (UGA, SMU, Yale) and loves every minute of imitating life onstage, on set or in a rehearsal room. A former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center and featured actress at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, some of her favorite roles include Juanita in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie, Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Tonya in August Wilson's King Hedley II.

Tiffany appeared as Shenzi in the National Tour of The Lion King for two years (2015-2017). On TV, she can be found co-starring in Donald Glover's FX hit, "Atlanta"; Netflix's "Ozark" and "The Haunting of Hill House"; the OWN Network's "Love Is ___"; CBS's "MacGyver," "Bull" and "Code Black"; and in SyFy's "Happy." In 2018, Tiffany joined the Broadway musical, Waitress, spear-headed by Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson and Diane Paulus.

More at www.tiffanydenisehobbs.com

Nominations Open April 1 for Visionary Woman Leader Award

Martha Richards receives the inaugural Visionary Woman in Leadership Award at Statera’s 3rd National Conference in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

Martha Richards receives the inaugural Visionary Woman in Leadership Award at Statera’s 3rd National Conference in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

Nominations for the 2019 Martha Richards Visionary Woman in Leadership Award open on April 1, 2019! This is your opportunity to amplify and celebrate the work of a Visionary Arts Leader in your community! Everyone is invited to submit their nominations throughout the month of April. The online submission form will be available HERE beginning on April 1st.

ABOUT THE AWARD

This award, established in Martha Richards’ name, is given annually to a visionary woman* who uplifts, amplifies, and advances women in the arts. StateraArts established this award to recognize outstanding leaders and support the work of women and TGNC (Trans / Gender Non-Conforming) arts leaders who are creating pathways for other women leaders.

StateraArts is honored to highlight the extraordinary achievements of women leaders in the arts who provide powerful role models for mentorship and intersectional equity. The award comes with national recognition and a $2,000 prize. Read more about how the award was established:

Statera Establishes the Martha Richards Visionary Woman in Leadership Award

GUIDELINES

Future recipients of the MRVWL Award:

  • Uplift, amplify, and advance women leaders in the arts

  • Actively create pathways to success and advancement for women in the arts

  • Embody Statera’s mission of positive action for women in the arts

  • Uphold the values of intersectional gender equity in their own leadership

SUBMISSION & ANNOUNCEMENT TIMELINE

April 1-30, 2019 - Nominations/Submissions accepted

May 1 - June 31, 2019 - Review Period

July 2019 - Notify recipient and invite them to Statera’s National Conference

October 2019 - Recipient is presented with Award at Statera’s 2019 National Conference in NYC

Martha Richards

Martha Richards

ABOUT MARTHA RICHARDS

Martha Richards spent a 40-year career centering on the voices of women and under-represented artists. When this award was established, Martha had invested twenty-three years as Executive Director of WomenArts, a non-profit Martha founded dedicated to increasing visibility and opportunities for women artists in all genres. Prior to WomanArts, Martha served as Executive Director of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College and as Managing Director of StageWest. She has received many honors including a 2006 nomination for the prestigious international Montblanc Due La Culture Award for outstanding service to the arts, induction into the BayPath College 21st Century Women Business Leaders Hall of Fame for her work in philanthropy, and recognition as one of three "founding mothers" of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts. One of Martha’s greatest and most wide-reaching accomplishments was the creation of SWAN / Support Women Artists Now Day, an international holiday celebrating the power and diversity of women’s creativity. Over its 11-year history, SWAN Day has reached 36 countries with over 1900 events. Martha Richards has changed the landscape for women artists and this award is part of her continued legacy.


*A NOTE ON INCLUSION AT STATERA

Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also serve and welcome those who identify as non-binary. 

Intersectionality: StateraArts works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, parental status, size, age, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all. 

Uplift & Amplify: January #SWANSunday Artists

SWAN Day means Support Women Artists Now Day. It is an annual international celebration of women’s creativity and gender parity activism. It happens on the last Saturday in March. But we don’t have to wait. We can support women* artists every week!

Last month, StateraArts launched a campaign designed to AMPLIFY the voices and work of women artists as part of SWAN Day. The goal is to flood social media every Sunday with images, quotes, and work from women artists. Below are some of the incredible artists YOU amplified during the month of January. Who will you amplify this Sunday?

Find out more about SWAN Day HERE.

Luchita Hurtado, visual artist. (Photo by Laure Joliet)

Luchita Hurtado, visual artist. (Photo by Laure Joliet)

ARTIST: Luchita Hurtado

AMPLIFIED BY: Jackie Vanderbeck (Baton Rouge, LA)

“Luchita Hurtado. Dark Years” is on view from Jan. 31 – April 6, 2019, at Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street, New York, hauserwirth.com.

"Women artists have not had the visibility they should have and we need to protest, systematically, against forgetting — through books and exhibitions.”

Mercy Obukwa - Visual Artist

Mercy Obukwa - Visual Artist

ARTIST: Mercy Obukwa

AMPLIFIED BY: Sophie Dowllar (Kenya)

Mercy is a visual artist from Nairobi, Kenya, specializing in unique high-end luxurious art with a 3-D touch. Sophie says, “I am spoiled of choice whom i want to amplify on social media....But i have to see this piece of art (above) by Mercy Obukwa.”

Tonia Sina - Intimacy Directors International

Tonia Sina - Intimacy Directors International

ARTIST: Tonia Sina

AMPLIFIED BY: Mandy Rausch (Dallas)

Here’s what Mandy had to say about Tonia. “Not only did she lead the charge on choreographing intimacy for the stage, starting Intimacy Directors International and continue its growth, but she fights for her life every day with grace and humor and dignity, AND she’s an advocate for the bully breed with her sweet service dog, Daphne.”

Artwork by Evita Tezeno

Artwork by Evita Tezeno

ARTIST: Evita Tezeno

AMPLIFIED BY: Sarah Greenman (Eastern Oregon)

Sarah writes, “Today I want to shine a light on the incredible work of Evita Tezeno and her stunning collage portraits. Her collages are deeply enriching, joyful, thoughtful, gorgeous pieces of the human soul. I love them - each one.”

Melissa Maxwell, multi-disciplinary artist. (Photo by James Edward Alexander)

Melissa Maxwell, multi-disciplinary artist. (Photo by James Edward Alexander)

ARTIST: Melissa Maxwell

AMPLIFIED BY: Melinda Pfundstein

Melinda writes, “Lifting up multi-discipline artist: director/actor/advocate and more, Melissa Maxwell on this #SWANsunday. I never see a dragonfly when I don’t think of you.”

Emily Trask and Kitty Balay in “Shakespeare in Love” at PCPA. (Photo by Luis Escobar)

Emily Trask and Kitty Balay in “Shakespeare in Love” at PCPA. (Photo by Luis Escobar)

ARTIST: Emily Trask, Actor and Educator

AMPLIFIED BY: Kitty Balay

Kitty writes, “How lucky I am to have the extraordinary Emily Trask as an acting partner, colleague, and friend! Happy #SWANSunday!”

An Actress Prepares: Tiffany Denise Hobbs

It's Wednesday, which means its time for another installment of “An Actress Prepares” with Tiffany Denise Hobbs! StateraArts uplifts and amplifies women* artists in all genres, but we also recognize our strong theatre roots. Tiffany’s series offers mentorship for early career theatre artists as well as valuable insight for anyone wanting to know more about what it means to be a working actor. Click HERE to view last week’s episode.


AN ACTRESS PREPARES: WHY THEATRE?

by Tiffany Denise Hobbs

Hey there, and welcome back! In this episode, I'll touch briefly on my personal answer to "Why theatre?" And then, I'll dive into how I begin getting into a role. Let’s go!


Tiffany Hobbs was born and raised in Augusta, GA. Tiffany began dancing at the age of three. In the years following, she discovered a love for theater and music that augmented her passion to be a performing artist. She has trained for over two decades at prestigious liberal and performing arts institutions (UGA, SMU, Yale) and loves every minute of imitating life onstage, on set or in a rehearsal room. A former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center and featured actress at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, some of her favorite roles include Juanita in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie, Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Tonya in August Wilson's King Hedley II.

Tiffany appeared as Shenzi in the National Tour of The Lion King for two years (2015-2017). On TV, she can be found co-starring in Donald Glover's FX hit, "Atlanta"; Netflix's "Ozark" and "The Haunting of Hill House"; the OWN Network's "Love Is ___"; CBS's "MacGyver," "Bull" and "Code Black"; and in SyFy's "Happy." In 2018, Tiffany joined the Broadway musical, Waitress, spear-headed by Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson and Diane Paulus.

More at www.tiffanydenisehobbs.com.

Statera Supporting Women in the Arts - an interview with Melinda Pfundstein

StateraConIII in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

StateraConIII in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

This interview was originally published by the Utah Theatre Bloggers Association on February 1, 2019.

by Russell Warne 

CEDAR CITY — Making a living in the arts has always been a challenge. But—as in many other fields—women experience challenges in the workplace that men do not have. Rather than talk about the problem, Utah-based actor and director Melinda Pfundstein decided to do something about reducing barriers that women face as they pursue their careers in the arts so she founded StateraArts with the help of USF actor Shelly Gaza. I sat down with Ms. Pfundstein in July to discuss Statera and its mission in more detail.

UTBA: What is the mission of the StateraArts?

Pfundstein: Statera, deriving its name from the Latin word for balance, takes positive action to bring women into full and equal participation in the arts. We work through mentorship, community and coalition building through our national conferences, and by amplifying women’s voices and work through international SWAN Day. We engage with organizations and women ready and hungry to do the work to help balance the landscape in the arts.

UTBA: What does SWAN stand for in International SWAN Day?

Pfundstein: SWAN stands for “Support Women Artists Now.” It was started 11 years ago by WomenArts founder Martha Richards and there have been over 1,900 SWAN Day celebrations in 36 countries around the world.

UTBA: What do you encourage people to do on SWAN Day?

Pfundstein: It is a grassroots movement that encourages communities of artists and arts supporters to gather, uplift, and celebrate women’s work. Some SWAN Day organizers use it as an opportunity to fundraise for arts projects in their communities.

UTBA: That’s interesting. How was Statera founded?

Pfundstein: The organization took shape on my back porch from years and years of the same conversations about the complications of being a woman in the theatre and the arts. There were so many women that we would see come and go and not advance through the organizations we were working in. But we were watching our male friends and peers doing just the opposite and grow in rank and in opportunities in directing and leadership.

UTBA: How long ago was that?

Pfundstein: That was in 2015.

UTBA: So that was your back porch here in Cedar City, Utah.

Pfundstein: That’s right.

UTBA: Wow. One day there will be a historic plaque there says, “On this spot StateraArts was hatched.”

StateraArts’s logo symbolizes balance in the arts.

StateraArts’s logo symbolizes balance in the arts.

Pfundstein: Right. But from there, we have team members and offices in L.A., the Portland area, Seattle, Denver, New York, and Chicago. We’re really spread out over the country.

UTBA: This is really a grassroots network throughout all of the major arts centers in the United States.

Pfundstein: Yes.

UTBA: So, with International SWAN Day, will we one day see Statera offices in other countries?

Pfundstein: That is the hope.

UTBA: You mentioned “complications” for women trying to advance their careers in the arts. What are some of the unique complications that women face?

Pfundstein: From a very personal standpoint, I’m a mother and a wife. So, any time I go off to do a job, that is a factor for me. It’s great in organizations that I have worked with that have child care on the premises or that are supportive of families working for organizations. And in our organizations that mostly do productions from the classical canon, most of the roles available are for men. That means that men then become the loyal favorites, and pathways become built. And these men start to build up through the organization into leadership and directing positions that aren’t readily available for women. And there just aren’t a lot of examples for women to look to who have grown through the ranks into leadership opportunities in theatre. While there are many male allies and men who have done so, it is helpful to see somebody who looks like you in a pathway that makes sense to you.

UTBA: It’s one thing to say, “Oh, I’ve heard my wife talk about these challenges,” or, “I’ve heard my co-worker about these challenges.” But it’s different to have a mentor to say, “Here is how I found these solutions.”

Pfundstein: Absolutely. Statera is about positive action and finding solutions. We like to work on the tactics that are working and to magnify them.

UTBA: You mentioned that the roles in the classical canon are disproportionately male, and here we are at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Shakespeare‘s most famous play, Hamlet, has two female characters. You directed a play this year, the Merchant of Venice, that has three named female characters. Tell me about how, given this issue, how you handled that to make this play more career-friendly for your female performers.

Pfundstein: With Shakespeare, in particular, we already go to the theater and suspend our disbelief about so many things: that a cardboard thing is a tree, or a piece of wood is a house or a village. But also there is a tradition of men playing women’s roles. So, this is not so much of a stress. It’s just about asking smart questions about what lens we can look through to think more creatively about themes based in human experience. I think that’s something that we do every time come to these plays. This time it happened to be a marginalization lens that I looked through.

Lisa Wolpe as Shylock in the 2018 Utah Shakespeare Festival production of  The Merchant of Venice . (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2018.)

Lisa Wolpe as Shylock in the 2018 Utah Shakespeare Festival production of The Merchant of Venice. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2018.)

UTBA: You cast four women into five roles that were written for men. Why did you cast those particular women?

Pfundstein: I cast those particular women because of their artistry. When The Merchant of Venice came to my plate, the first person I thought of was Lisa Wolpe because I heard her speak those words a year ago, and it haunted me. The casting grew from there, and they were the best people for the roles.

UTBA: That’s quite an endorsement for those performers. Beyond this particular production, what success stories do you have for Statera?

Pfundstein: Recent success stories that resonate for me are about individual artists who bring a new show to the national conference. Out of that, they then book performances at theaters across the country. There are also stories of people engaging with mentors and being shepherded through their pathway in the arts. It’s about connecting with women and male allies all over the country and internationally.

UTBA: Are there women who have been offered directorial positions because of Statera’s work?

Pfundstein: Absolutely. We’re connecting people and having conversations about the work and new ways of thinking. Those relationships automatically blossom the same way that they do for our male allies. We’re just seeing it more frequently now.

UTBA: Are there some jobs and positions that are more representative of women than others? Or is it more consistent across the board where you see the same level of representation in different positions?

Pfundstein: The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Wellesley Centers for Women put out a study a couple of years ago about women in leadership in the theatre. You can get some statistics from there. But right now we are in the midst of the biggest turnover of leadership in the American theatre ever. So, right now this is on so many people’s tongues because we’re talking about what we can do to ensure that the work stays relevant in the future. So much of that has to do with making sure we get more diverse voices in leadership positions. That hasn’t been the case previously.

Melinda Pfundstein

Melinda Pfundstein

UTBA: It sounds like you started your work at the perfect time, right before you start getting this massive turnover in leadership. It sounds like you having this conversation going about getting women in directorial positions and artistic directing positions, those positions are really starting to open up for various reasons anyway. Now seems like the perfect chance to give female candidates a shot. Am I understanding that correctly?

Pfundstein: You are. I offer that it we have had the perfect chance to give female and diverse candidates a shot. We have simply been stuck in old, outdated habits and systems, but now we know better, and it is time to do better.

UTBA: That’s interesting. For yourself, you mentioned that you had particular challenges for yourself in your career. What changes have you seen in the industry over the course of your career in addressing this issue?

Natasha Harris (left) as Bianca and Melinda Pfundstein as Katherine in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 production of The Taming of the Shrew. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2015.)

Pfundstein: The first thing is that this is on the tongues of the industry. The whole industry is talking about how to make this a more diverse landscape. Just that it’s a conversation piece at so many organizations is totally different than it was when I was starting. And women are starting to step into these positions: women, women of color. They’re stepping into these positions of leadership, and that makes it better for all of us. There also more opportunities now. I also have more examples now—and perhaps it’s because of this work where I’m connecting to them now—but more examples of women who have taken a pathway that makes sense to me in growing and progressing in the industry.

UTBA: Besides the conversation actually happening, what is the #1 difference for a female artist starting her career now compared to 20 years ago?

Pfundstein: We have Statera. There is opportunity for mentorship, free resources, a place to convene once a year to connect to other artists who are interested in this conversation, and a growing community of makers and advocates forwarding the work. Organizations are implementing equity, diversity, and inclusion programs that are more than just lip service now. Where once these peripheral programs were created to check boxes, now companies are implementing them into their day-to-day operations. That is making a huge difference. They’re acting as examples for other organizations who want to broaden their teams and diversify the voices in their organization.

UTBA: It reminds me of a panel at a conference of the American Theatre Critics Association that I went to in 2015 where female playwrights talked about a real change in moving their work from being at women’s-only festivals or being produced as the one play per year written by a women in a company’s season to being an integral part of the season at theatre companies. Do you see a similar movement happening in acting roles, directing positions and design jobs, where there is an effort to make a large number of women part of the creative teams?

Pfundstein: Yes. More organizations are moving beyond the tokenism of adding women or people of color in and instead doing the hard and important work of implementing the value of doing art by and for more people into their missions. I believe that these organizations will thrive and those that do not will become irrelevant and struggle.

UTBA: What can patrons do? Most of UTBA’s readers are not artists.

Pfundstein: Women buy 70% of the tickets in the arts. They ought to see themselves represented in the art they buy. Simply buy tickets that support art done by and for more people. Contact your arts organizations and say, “I really love this and want more of this.” That feedback for organizations is great.

UTBA: I appreciate you giving me the time to talk about this. Is there anything else I should know about Statera or its work?

Pfundstein: Statera is not just about giving artists opportunities. It’s about allowing the arts to reflect back a picture of all our audience members, and not just a certain type. All audience members deserve to see representations of themselves because the arts inspire us to consider what could be. This work makes the arts landscape better for all of us.

UTBA: I see it as common sense. The more people who see the arts as being relevant to their lives, the more people will come to the defense of the arts when funding is in danger. It makes sense from the patron’s perspective, from the producer’s perspective, for the artists, and everyone. It makes sense to have more voices and a broader pool of support.


To learn more about the StateraArts, visit stateraarts.orgTo help further Statera’s mission, make a donation at stateraarts.org/donate.

Statera Welcomes New Team Members

Thanks to our incredible community, 2018 was the most expansive and exciting year Statera has ever had. We fostered the national expansion of Statera Mentorship with the launch of 12 new regional chapters (and more coming). We hosted our third National Conference in Milwaukee, with touchstone addresses from theatre and film luminaries like Hana Sharif, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Gail Barringer, and Nataki Garrett. We launched our free resource directory, which houses a treasure-trove of valuable information for emerging and established artists alike. And this January, Statera launched Statera Membership - a community for anyone interested in advancing their art careers through the lens of intersectional gender-parity. If it sounds like we’re tooting our own horn, we are! Its an exciting time and we owe it all to you! Thank you for supporting our mission.

We also want you to be the first to know that the Statera Team expanded in January. Please join us in welcoming our newest StateraArts team members!


Vanessa DeSilvio

Vanessa DeSilvio

VANESSA DESILVIO (She/Her/Hers)

Vanessa DeSilvio joins StateraArts as part of our Ambassador team. She is a Dallas-based stage, commercial, and television actor and voice over artist. She speaks fluent Spanish as she was raised in a Venezuelan household and strongly identifies with being Latinx. She holds an MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University, and has taught introduction to acting and speech and diction classes at SMU, University of North Texas, and KD Conservatory.

Statera Ambassadors are artist-activists with big ideas! They are Statera's creative brain trust. You will find our Ambassadors authoring posts on the Statera Blog, presenting at StateraCon, engaging as regional Mentorship Coordinators, and consulting on the development of Statera programming.


TRACY LIZ MILLER (She/Her/Hers)

Tracy Liz Miller has joined the Statera team as Co-Chair of our National Conference in NYC. Tracy is the Co-founding Producing Artistic Director of The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre, previously Associate Producer Vermont Shakespeare Company. Tracy is proud to be teaching the next generation of theatre artists as Director of the Theatre Arts at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Arizona. This past summer, Tracy was a recipient of a professional development grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts along with an Emerging Director Scholarship from the Celebration Barn in Maine to attend their 11-day Devising Intensive. BFA Musical Theatre Performance Western Michigan University, MFA Acting Alabama Shakespeare Festival / U of A.

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Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders

CHRIS SANDERS (She/Her/They/Them)

We’re thrilled that Chris has joined StateraArts as an Ambassador. Chris is a singer, actor, educator, entrepreneur and teaches Theatre courses at UTD, in Richardson, TX. They are also a spokesperson for Susan G. Koman, and an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International.

Chris is also thrilled to have taken on the role of being the Head of Music Ministry with Activate Church. Activate is a place of Christian worship, geared towards entrepreneurs, based in Dallas, TX. Chris earned their BA in Theatre from Kean University and her MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University.


NANCY SLITZ (She/Her/Hers)

Last month, Statera also welcomed Nancy Slitz as Chair of the StateraArts Advisory Board. Nancy has been a long-time supporter of the organization and has attended Statera’s conferences as both a presenter and a participant. Other board members include Sam White, Martha Richards, and Marti Gobel.

Nancy most recently served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Her career began in education, but quickly expanded to positions with IBM, Hammer Art Galleries in New York, and an executive search company where she placed lawyers in many of the prestigious Manhattan law firms. She helmed her own executive search firm, Slitz Search and has years of business experience and has been certified as a CPC: Professional Corporate/Small Business Coach. Nancy specializes in working with arts organizations.  We are honored that Nancy is joining Statera as Chair of the Advisory Board.

Nancy Slitz, Chair of the StateraArts Advisory Board

Nancy Slitz, Chair of the StateraArts Advisory Board


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EVANGELINE STOTT (She/Her/Hers)

Evangeline Stott is joining Statera as an Operations Assistant and is also working on SWAN Day coordination. Evangeline is an actor, painter, musician, and community builder. She obtained her BFA in Classical Acting from Southern Utah University and completed an acting fellowship with the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

An Arizona desert rat with an East Coast heart, Evangeline moved to NYC after college where she has immersed herself in the devised theatre community while performing in productions at Columbia University and August Corps.

Her paintings are both a direct expression of her lust for life and an exploration of empathy. They have been showcased and sold in Utah, Nevada, and New York.


JENNIFER TUTTLE (She/Her/Hers)

Jennifer Tuttle is working with StateraArts as the National Conference Co-Chair and liaison with City College of New York (CCNY) where StateraConIV will be hosted.

Jennifer is a theatre artist and educator. As a director, her recent projects include: Immigration Stories for Culture Project’s Women Center Stage, An Incident at Peniel at Crossways Theatre, Much Ado Para Nada at Shakespeare in Detroit, and Macbeth at the City College of New York.

As an assistant professor at CCNY she teaches Acting, Directing, and Voice. She received her MFA in Theatre/Acting from the Hilberry Theatre at Wayne State University, and her Certification as a Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique from the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, where she is an Associate Teacher. Jennifer has been a professional actor and director for over 20 years and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.

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An Actress Prepares: Tiffany Denise Hobbs

Get excited because Tiffany Denise Hobbs and StateraArts are partnering to bring you a weekly series called “An Actress Prepares”. StateraArts uplifts and amplifies women* artists in all genres, but we also recognize our strong theatre roots. Tiffany’s series offers mentorship for early career theatre artists as well as valuable insight for anyone wanting to know more about what it means to be a working actor. Tiffany is currently on Broadway in Waitress the Musical and she is also working with StateraArts as a Statera Ambassador.


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Introduction: An Actress Prepares

by Tiffany Denise Hobbs

Hello Statera! Many people have been asking me about my career - the why’s, the how’s, the if’s, etc. So I decided to create a vlog in which I share my process and the intimate details on how I do what I do. And I love what I do! I enjoy helping others and I’m excited to share my understanding of working in this business. Don’t mistake this for an attempt at a perfect guide - it’s just imperfect ol’ me sharing my personal journey (the good, the bad and the ugly) and what little nuggets of insight and inspiration I have gathered along the way. If you are in any way curious about an actor’s life, this is for you.

Tiffany will be back next Wednesday to talk about “why theatre”. She’ll also share about how she first approaches a role. But if you want more, feel free to binge watch “An Actress Prepares” on Tiffany’s YouTube channel. You can also find her on Instagram.


Tiffany Hobbs was born and raised in Augusta, GA. Tiffany began dancing at the age of three. In the years following, she discovered a love for theater and music that augmented her passion to be a performing artist. She has trained for over two decades at prestigious liberal and performing arts institutions (UGA, SMU, Yale) and loves every minute of imitating life onstage, on set or in a rehearsal room. A former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center and featured actress at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, some of her favorite roles include Juanita in James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie, Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Tonya in August Wilson's King Hedley II.

Tiffany appeared as Shenzi in the National Tour of The Lion King for two years (2015-2017). On TV, she can be found co-starring in Donald Glover's FX hit, "Atlanta"; Netflix's "Ozark" and "The Haunting of Hill House"; the OWN Network's "Love Is ___"; CBS's "MacGyver," "Bull" and "Code Black"; and in SyFy's "Happy." In 2018, Tiffany joined the Broadway musical, Waitress, spear-headed by Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson and Diane Paulus.

More at www.tiffanydenisehobbs.com.

Why Can’t I Be Both?

On October 6, 2018, Sage Martin and Maggie Rogers presented a breakout session called “Fat Discrimination and its Impact on the American Theatre” at Statera’s National Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. StateraArts is proud to publish a text version of their session below.

Sage Martin (left) and Maggie Rogers (right) speaking at Statera’s National Conference in Milwaukee. (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

Sage Martin (left) and Maggie Rogers (right) speaking at Statera’s National Conference in Milwaukee. (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

Fat discrimination and its impact on the American theatre.

By Sage Martin & Maggie Rogers

America hates fat people, specifically fat womxn and femmes. Our rampant diet-crazed culture equates self worth with waist size. Commercials celebrate post-diet bodies like prizes, magazines promise ways to lose 30 lbs in 30 days, and even Instagram touts some secret tea that will flatten your tummy. If you aren’t getting hefty servings of body-shame from the media, chances are you are being force-fed the same rhetoric by friends and family via grandmothers talking about the newest fad diet they are trying, friends asking which dress makes them look less fat, and mothers stressing over getting their “good” figure back. This inherited hate has been passed down for so many generations that we waste no time passing it on and teaching children there is always a better way to have a body. So what happens when your body is your business? Your livelihood?

Theatre has long considered itself to be the includer of the excluded - home of the underdog, and a mirror to society. It’s an industry dedicated to telling stories from endless perspectives and all walks of life. We seek out what is often overlooked and shine a spotlight on it.

In a world made rigid by race, class, and nationality, theatre is often our great escape and equalizer. In an industry so fiercely dedicated to inclusion and diversity, why are we still adhering to poisonous social conformities regarding fatness?

“Fat” can be, and often is, an inflammatory term to people who grew up fat or are currently living as fat. It has a derogatory and hurtful past for many. The use of the word “fat” can trigger an immediate impulse to retort back quickly that you are not. This stems from a centuries old stereotype that fat is culturally synonymous with unhealthy, unintelligent, and unattractive.

The Word Fat:

  • It is subjective. There are no guidelines for what “fat” means. Someone who wears a 32 may not see someone wearing a 22 as fat, and both of them may not consider someone wearing a 12 to be fat. This is an ongoing discussion in the fat community. For the purposes of this article, fat will be qualified as anyone who must shop in “plus-size stores” to find clothes and accessories to fit themselves.

  • It is not an emotion. All of us have finished a meal with family or friends and then heard someone utter the dreaded “Yuck, I ate too much. I feel so fat.” When someone says this they mean to say they feel bloated or uncomfortable. You cannot “feel fat”. Using the word “fat” to describe eating too much or feeling full is not only incorrect, but an unimaginative use of the English language.

  • It is not an identity, it is a experience and a state of existence. A body has fat and carries it, it is something you gain and lose. Thin people cannot understand the world as a fat person simply because they wish to, it is something lived. Non-fat people claiming the word “fat” as a temporary identity is harmful to fat people who exist in a state of fatness constantly.

(Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

(Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

Before delving into fat prejudice in the American theatre, one must understand how this discrimination manifests itself in the general public and daily life by viewing it from a micro and macro level. It is worth noting that aggressions do not have to fall at the feet of fat people. A fat person does not have to be present for fatphobia to be damaging. If you hear someone speaking negatively about a fat person’s physicality, say something. Even if they are not there, it is still an aggression and not correcting the behavior makes you complicit. Silence does nothing, for anyone.

Micro Level Fat Aggressions, Everyday Life

  • People constantly shifting in seats on public transit to display how little room they have by sitting next to a fat body.

  • Statements that acknowledge size as something to overcome or hide via clothing and accessories. “You dress well for your size.”

  • Comments that put beauty and weight at odds. “You’re not fat. You are beautiful”.

  • Repetitive “compliments” that highlight body parts that are easily separated from fatness. “You have such a pretty face.”

  • Small public spaces that do not take into account a person of size: tables screwed into the ground at restaurants, narrow seating at venues, AIRPLANE BATHROOMS.

Macro Level Fat Aggressions, Everyday Life

  • Strangers calling people fat to their face.

  • Others commenting on a fat person’s food choices, how often they eat, and how much they consume.

  • Doctors unwilling to listen to medical needs without blaming symptoms on weight.

  • Jobs that do not have uniforms in plus sizes or up charges for sizes beyond a large.

These micro and macro aggressions are very common in America. Knowledge of how fat bodies are treated in day-to-day life is paramount for understanding and and describing how fat bodies are treated in theatre.

Micro Level Fat Aggressions, Theatre

  • Costume designers making comments on the difficulty of finding clothing in plus sizes… even if it is framed as a joke.

  • Choreographers and dressers commenting on how someone’s body is “different” in any capacity. This has the potential to unearth previous trauma, make the performer feel like a burden, or create a feeling of unsafety.

  • People being surprised by fat people’s movement abilities. Dance and movement instructors often voice when a fat person is moving just as well as everyone else. This is usually an attempt to compliment or encourage but it is often demeaning. Fat people don’t need extra praise for moving well.

  • People assuming someone who is fat will be auditioning/called in for a supporting role. Many people struggle with fat bodies depicting the stories of romantic, powerful, or fragile characters.

Macro Level Fat Aggressions, Theatre

  • Programs, colleges, and apprenticeships denying admittance due to size or basing admittance on an agreement to lose weight.

  • Instructors assuming you lack the physical abilities of the rest of the cast/class. This is similar to the micro aggression of people being surprised fat people can move. But instead of showing surprise, the instructor/casting team does not invite fat people to movement portions of auditions or classes, assuming they aren’t physically fit.

  • “Type casting”

Type-Casting

It is hard to believe in the foundations of type casting when the person assigning types has traditionally been an older, white, cisgendered man. If the institution is ever questioned, an immediate response is “this is how it has always been.” There is no disputing some actors are more skilled at specific facets of acting; comedic timing, dramatic pauses, larger than life intimidation or warmth. However, it does seem like more than a coincidence that the majority of fat womxn are commonly cast as matronly or funny characters and never the love interest. Is this because society rarely views fat womxn as sexy or desirable? Is it because fat children grow up using humor as a defense, making it easier for fat adults to lean into comedy? Do we use tropes about fatness to protect the beauty binary of thin is good and fat is bad? Regardless of the origin, the reality is that fat bodies are typically used as the punchline or the non-sexual supportive character.

Everything put on stage has meaning from the color of a pocket square, to a cross downstage. Theatre is a deep study of semiotics. By putting a fat body onstage, a story is already being told. Romeo and Juliet is a story of love in spite of family rules. Romeo and Fat Juliet becomes a story of love despite her size. It is the same script but now the story has changed due to the audiences preconceived notions of what they have been told about fat people. No words are changed but by altering the expected looks of this classic love story, the entire way we view the piece is impacted.

At what age do we stop owning our bodies? The general public may answer sometime around high school, when puberty hit, or even never. For performers, it can be dangerously early. Child actors, dancers starting in kindergarten, singers joining elementary choirs all become aware of their bodies the moment they begin classes. Their craft demands body awareness and consciousness of how you look to others from a stage. This artistic concern for the correct body language in a play, breath support in a song, or arm placement at the barre can quickly become a weight for these kids outside of the rehearsal room. The underlying theme that children pick up on is that the art demands a certain look which you must meet or you will be replaced. How young is too young to dedicate your body to storytelling? How old should you be when you first begin altering the way you look for directors and casting departments?

(Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

(Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill)

As easy as it may be to say do what you want with your own body, that unfortunately isn’t a practical answer in the theatre world for many people. Knowing that our current audience and state of storytelling prefers thin figures on stage, dieting and auditioning can be far more daunting for fat individuals. If you diet enough to lose weight but not be thin thin, then have you removed yourself from the chubby best friend and mom roles? Is it even worth it to diet at all if you cant lose all your “excess weight”? Is it a waste of time to go to an audition for Juliet as a size 16?

It feels like an endless cycle: casting directors don’t see fat bodies as leads so fat people don’t audition for leads resulting in, you guessed it, a lack of representation on stage. As body positivity and fat acceptance becomes more and more talked about in society, we must assume it will hit casting departments one day… but we’ve spent decades telling fat people they are only good enough for the lead roles written specifically for their body type. Can we really blame them for not wanting to waste their time in audition rooms they know they are too big for? There can only be one Tracy Turnblad per season but even though we don’t know what Elphaba looks like beyond being green, we know she isn’t fat.

It is time to be honest and call it like we see it. Theatermakers must start asking questions. Ask why a company passed on auditioning or casting fat actors. Break type casting in your classrooms by asking your students to perform pieces outside their comfort zone. Challenge casting directors to bring in fat actors to be auditioned for lead roles that have nothing to do with weight. Talk to directors about why they had no people of size in their cast. Request playwrights use character descriptions to describe who the character is instead of what they look like in stories where physicality is not integral to the story.

We are not going anywhere and it is time we are given the room we deserve, and need. Our society is made up of fat people who are powerful CEOs, confident leaders, sexual beings, vulnerable partners, capable womxn, and active members of the industry. There is no reason fat people cannot play these roles on stage. Speak up. Ask questions. The industry won’t change itself. It starts with us.


About the Authors

Sage Martin is an actor and writer from Kentucky who obtained her degree in Acting from Paul McCartney's Institute of Performing Arts in Liverpool, England. While there, she performed All's Well That Ends Well at the Sam Wanamaker Festival (The Globe, London) and devised a performance based art installation on the US foster care system (Liverpool). She moved to Los Angeles after graduation where she wrote and starred in “The Trials and Errors of Suzette Le’Ago and The Downstairs Neighbor (or Half Magic)” that has played at film festivals in 6 countries, won 2 awards, and showed at drive-in movie theaters around Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. In 2017, she wrote “Such a Pretty Face” and workshopped at it Theater Schmeater (Seattle), where it will be playing in Spring of 2019. Sage is currently learning stained glass work in between acting and writing.

Maggie Rogers is a Seattle based director, dramaturg, and fat activist who proudly hails from Louisville, Kentucky. She is the Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg at Washington Ensemble Theatre, a company member with The Horse in Motion, and the Resident Dramaturg for Cherdonna Shinatra's compnay, Donna. Before moving to Seattle to complete the Literary Apprenticeship at Seattle Repertory Theatre, she obtained her degree in directing from Columbia College Chicago and graduated as the class Valedictorian of 2014. 

StateraCon 2019 is Coming to New York City

StateraArts announces New York City as location of next national conference!
 

Join us for Statera's 4th National Conference in New York City from October 25-27, 2019. Meet with theatre professionals from all over the country for three days of networking, socializing, experience-sharing, theatre-going and more! The Statera conference is all about intersectional gender balance. While StateraArts' mission is to take positive action to bring women* into full and equal participation in the Arts, StateraCon is geared toward theatre artists, educators, and administrators. 

Statera is proud to partner this year with City College of New York and the Department of Theatre and Speech (CCNY). StateraConIV will take place on their beautiful campus in Hamilton Heights overlooking Harlem. Since its founding in 1847, CCNY has been true to its legacy of access, opportunity, and transformation. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic, and boldly visionary as the city itself. 

Why are we meeting in NYC?


NYC has a rich and globally recognized arts and culture scene and is home to some of our nation's most legendary theaters. The theme for StateraConIV is Coalition Building. After hosting three highly successful conferences in the regional theatre hubs of Cedar City, Denver, and Milwaukee, Statera has strategically chosen to meet in New York City as a way of engaging partner organizations and facilitating collective action. Plus, who doesn’t want to spend a fabulous weekend in the Big Apple with industry leaders, creatives, and theatre-professionals from all walks and disciplines?

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Speakers from StateraConIII in Milwaukee (Photo by Malloree Delayne Hill). Above Left to right: Christine Jugueta, Jessica Renae, and Nataki Garrett. Below left to right: Torie Wiggins, Sage Martin, Maggie Rogers, and Kevin Kantor.

When does registration open? 


Early Bird Registration ($250) opens on April 1st. General Registration ($300) begins on May 1st. Statera Members receive the early bird rate as long as registration is open. Registration includes access to all Statera Conference programming. This includes keynote addresses, plenaries, workshops, breakout sessions, panel discussions, admission to organized social gatherings, a conference swag bag, and communal meals when noted. We will again be offering Student Registration for $150. 

StateraCon is open to everyone. We invite and welcome all gender identities, all races and ethnicities, all religions and creeds, countries of origin, all immigrants and refugees, all abilities and disabilities, and all sexual orientations. Everyone is welcome here.

What else do I need to know?


Touchstone speakers will be announced in the coming months and presenters will be announced in June and July. Interested in presenting a session? StateraArts will be accepting submissions from April 1-30, 2019. Presenters will be notified May 15-30, 2019. For more information about proposals, visit www.stateraarts.org/proposals.

This year, Statera is excited to offer a limited number of travel and registration grants. That application process will be announced soon. To be notified about conference grants, please subscribe to the Statera Newsletter.

For more information about Statera's 2019 Conference, please visit www.stateraarts.org/conference.


*A NOTE ON INCLUSION AT STATERA

Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman. We also serve and welcome those who identify as non-binary. 

Intersectionality: StateraArts works through an intersectional lens for gender parity. We understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group. Addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage means holistically addressing them all.