50/50 in 2020 Action List and more...

5:13 PM / Posted by Ashley /

I've been lame on blog posts this past month. Thankfully, it's because I've been busy. COTE just closed "Questionable Content" last week and I have another instillment of GirlPower (with a brand new cast) coming up October 8th and 9th. More updates are to come.

In honor of GirlPower I'm posting the 50/50 in 2020 Action list. The objective of 50/50 in 2020 is to achieve parity for professional women theater artists by 2020. Even today, women playwrights, directors, and designers receive fewer than 20% of the professional production opportunities nationwide.

50/50 in 2020 Action List

1. Write a letter to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) requesting that gender parity in the arts be a national funding priority. Direct letters to Mr. Rocco Landesman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20506-0001.

2. Recruit fans to the 50/50 in 2020 page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/5050-in-
2020/150326422323?ref=ts). Take personal responsibility for attracting at least 5 new members. This will help us to communicate with and energize an effective base of support on very short notice. Numbers matter!

3. Write to your local theaters and request gender parity now! Tell them that you will only buy tickets to productions or subscriptions to seasons involving equal representation of female and male playwrights, directors, designers, actors, and administrators. Address your letters to the staff leadership (check their website, but usually the Artistic Director and Executive/Managing Director) and copy all members of the theater’s Board of Directors. If possible, gather a diplomatic team in your town or neighborhood and request permission to meet in person with the Board of your local theater, and then talk to them about the moral and legal requisite for
gender parity, and tell them that you’ll take your concerns about their failure to provide equal opportunity for women to the local media, the theater’s funders, and local politicians if you do not see action in the short term.

4. Hold a “50/50 in 2020 night” in your neighborhood or theater. Create an event worth attending, and ask everyone to do engage in the activist options presented here. When you organize an event, let us know, so that we can help you spread the word.

5. Use social media to advance the cause. Urge your friends to blog about the topic. Comment on relevant postings in Facebook. Retweet pertinent entries on Twitter. Post your status on Linked In as being concerned about the lack of gender parity among professional women theater artists. Take an active interest in spreading the word in whatever viral/virtual medium with which you associate, and ask your friends to do the same. Again, numbers matter! The more widespread the conversation about the cause becomes, the more profound the impact will be among employers, funders, and media.

6. Encourage your friends, family, and any fellow union or guild members to buy tickets and subscriptions to theaters that support the work of professional women theater artists. If possible, track the positive response and send it to us and to your local media. Eventually, we plan to produce an annual Report Card rating the theaters who are best or worst about producing and hiring women.

7. If you work at an educational institution, then organize a petition addressed to publishers demanding that more plays by women throughout history be published. Tell them how you include a particular play or anthology of plays in your classroom. Make sure that the work of women is taught in all undergraduate and graduate theater programs.

8. If you are established in the theater, then begin mentoring an emerging or mid-career artist/administrator! Be generous about extending your connections and influence to help the next generation of women in the professional theater.

9. Plan now for SWAN Day! Visit http://www.womenarts.org/swan/ for details.

10. Use your economic power to support women. Regardless of your income, you matter! Again and always, support women artists. See their shows. Exploit social networking to promote women’s work. Demonstrate thatprofessional theater women artists are a worthy investment. We live in a capitalistic society. The higher the demand, the greater the supply will become. Let’s show the industry that women are the single greatest hope for economic prosperity in the American Theater and beyond.

From: http://www.princeton.edu/arts/arts_at_princeton/theater/event/wit/pdf/Top-Ten-Things-To-Do-for-5050-in-2020.pdf

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