School of drama

School Notes: School of Drama
January/February 2021

James Bundy ’95MFA |

Fostering BIPOC leadership in the arts

artEquity, in partnership with Yale School of Drama, has launched the BIPOC Leadership Circle, which prioritizes, centers, and addresses the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leaders in cultural arts institutions. The initiative grew out of a five-year relationship between artEquity and Yale School of Drama. Through the BIPOC Leadership Circle, artEquity—which provides tools, resources, and training at the intersection of art and activism—and Yale School of Drama—which trains leaders committed to raising the standard of professional practice—aim to foster new paradigms for BIPOC leadership.

“As more and more leaders of color are given access to occupy the most senior leadership roles within cultural arts organizations, we are finding that many predominantly white organizations are not adequately prepared to support them,” said artEquity Executive Director Carmen Morgan, lecturer in drama at YSD. “Leadership models that support white leaders are not necessarily effective leadership models for BIPOC leaders. On the contrary, often those leadership styles and models are incongruent to the leadership styles and needs of BIPOC leaders. This cohort aims to both support BIPOC leaders, and support new leadership models and values.”

The inaugural cohort, held digitally over six consecutive weeks in November and December, brought together 50 BIPOC leaders representing 48 organizations across the US and Canada. 

“It is an honor to deepen Yale School of Drama’s relationship with artEquity as a partner in support of the BIPOC Leadership Circle,” said YSD dean James Bundy ’95MFA. “We are grateful to the Robina Foundation for the grant that has made this initiative possible, and eager to bear witness to the collective impact of these 50 leaders, who are vital stewards of our field.”

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