EdTA intensified its efforts to improve racial equity throughout the organization – and theatre education at large.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Throughout 2020, hard conversations about racial equity happened in homes and workplaces around the United States — including within EdTA. While the association has long viewed diversity, equity, and inclusion as integral to its core value “people matter,” 2020 was a year of intentional effort toward addressing racial equity, which is the biggest gap for both the theatre education community and EdTA. Here’s a look at our most important progress in addressing that gap:

  • EdTA events featured more presenters of color and DEI topics. The Virtual International Thespian Festival featured two powerful panel discussions on racial equity in theatre and theatre education, along with a keynote by director Kenny Leon inspiring Thespians to fight injustice. At EdTA’s National Conference, 30% of presenters were people of color, including keynote speakers Idris Goodwin and Monique Chisholm.
  • Theatre Educator Pro launched DEI resources for teachers, including an ongoing series of webinars on social justice and culturally inclusive teaching.
  • EdTA, ITS, and ETF began collecting race and ethnicity information in our member data and program application data for first time so we can measure our progress and gaps.
  • EdTA received a $50,000 National Endowment of the Arts grant to pilot a technical theatre curriculum for low-income middle school students in Baltimore. The program will pair pre-service theatre and education students from Morgan State University, a historically black college, with teaching artists of color to create and implement the curriculum.
  • The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) awarded EdTA a $10,000 grant to enhance student leadership through DEI training and programming.
  • ETF received $50,000 in new donations to the Pathway program to advance racial equity, which will launch in the 2021-22 school year.
Kenosha, Wisconsin, Troupe 4982’s production of Scottsboro Boys at ITF 2019 was a model for the Pathway program

2020 DEI Achievements