We’ve just returned from the 2012 National Conference in Boston, where we modeled the movement with 1,000 theatre people. We give our deepest thanks to the Boston host committee and the New England theatre community for being such gracious hosts. Though it is impossible to generalize about such a multi-faceted Conference, certain major themes emerged: Howard Shalwitz and Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky) calling on us to step off the assembly line and remix our way to artistic innovation; our sustainability plenary and diversity sessions championing the benefits of true inclusion; and our activism plenary sparking tough questions about our responsibility to our audiences and ourselves.
Though we began the Conference by looking back at the rich legacy of our first 50 years, we ended by looking forward. TCG just completed a vision statement process, and for those who couldn’t attend the Conference, I want to share that statement with you now:
“A better world for theatre. A better world because of theatre.
TCG will become the catalytic center of a network of theatre people building more creative, diverse and civically engaged communities through theatre. Participation in theatre will be widely recognized as a right of every individual, a necessity for every community and a uniting force nationally and internationally.
In an increasingly interconnected, non-hierarchical and resource-stressed world, TCG will be the hub of an interdependent, inclusive and sustainable theatre field. TCG will harness our digital, high-tech future to champion the value of local, high-touch human connection. Our programming and core values will ripple through the primary partnership of our Member Theatres and other partner organizations to empower all theatre people and the communities they serve.”
This vision, and the strategic plan that accompanies it, realigns our mission towards serving theatre people. We reject the counterproductive dichotomy made between institutions and individuals. Our theatres are made up of individuals all striving to make a difference, and TCG’s mandate is to empower all practitioners. We believe that our seeming differences—from aesthetics to geography, from size to culture—are not a symptom of a broken system but a sign of its strength, and we all move toward a shared calling.
Though the in-person Conference ends, our online conference continues. All TCG Member Theatre staff—whether they attended the Conference or not—are invited to join Conference 2.0 to share models and resources, set goals and measure our shared progress. Contact Gus Schulenburg to set up your profile today. Let’s bring this intellectual capital to the Fall Forum on Governance in November and ride this creative momentum all the way to Dallas in 2013. Let’s create a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre. The next 50 years begin today.