6/11/2015

WomenArts: American Theatre Features Martha Richards on Gender Parity


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American Theatre Features Gender Parity Article by Martha Richards This Week 
Dear Women in the Arts & Media Coalit,

We are proud to announce that a gender parity article by WomenArts Executive Director Martha Richards is being featured this week by American Theatre, one of the most prestigious theatre publications in the U.S. 
Richards' article, 7 Steps for Achieving Gender Parity in the Theatre, is a report on a special gathering of 21 gender parity activists that WomenArts organized in collaboration with New York’s Women in the Arts & Media Coalition and Equity in Theatre (a coalition of nine Canadian organizations).
At WomenArts we can see that women all over the world are launching efforts to address gender discrimination in the arts.  We have been wondering what would happen if we could find a way to coordinate these efforts and maximize their impact? Could we reach a tipping point where the barriers for women theatre artists would finally come crashing down?
To address these questions, we invited our colleagues to join us in Toronto for Equity in Theatre's conference about the status of Canadian women on April 27, 2015, and for a special a day-long strategy session on April 28. Our strategy meeting included the authors of gender parity studies from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Canada, as well as representatives from other organizations that have been leading advocates for women in theatre for decades, such as the League of Professional Theatre Women, the International Centre for Women Playwrights and Teatro Luna.

Though many of us had been following each other’s work online for years, most of us had never met face-to-face before.  It was exhilarating to be in a room together to discuss ways to transform the existing gender parity efforts into a paradigm-shifting international movement.

We identified the seven strategies which are outlined in Richards' article for American Theatre. We will be writing more about these in the coming weeks, and we plan to organize follow-up meetings in different parts of the country to involve as many people as possible. Meanwhile, we invite you to read the article and write to us with your comments and suggestions.
Also, if you would like to see more coverage of gender parity issues in American Theatre, please write a letter to their editor to let them know that you appreciated Martha Richards' article, and you would like to see more coverage of this important topic.

Toronto Summit Participants
Participants at the Toronto Gender Parity Meeting -
See the footnotes to the American Theatre article for the full list of names and affiliations.
Two New Studies of Women in Theatre

Equity in Theatre
Equity in Theatre
Two new studies of the employment status of women in theatre have been released recently.  
On April 27, Equity in Theatre, a coalition of nine Canadian arts groups spearheaded by Rebecca Burton of  Playwrights Guild of Canada and Laine Zisman Newman of Pat the Dog Theatre Creation released Achieving Equity in Canadian Theatre: A Report with Best Practice Recommendations prepared by Dr. Michelle MacArthur of the University of Toronto.

On June 7, StageSource released their study, Spotlight on Gender Parity in the New England Theater Community 2013-2014 Season.

We will write more about both of these studies in the coming weeks.

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* WomenArts advocates for women artists by publishing studies like our Not Even report that reveal gender discrimination in the arts. 
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