Inspired by the bravery, transparency and leadership in the BIPOC coalitions of weseeyouWAT and Black Theatre United, The Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia (BTAP) sprang forth to bring support and solace to the Black artists in the Greater Philadelphia area. The Steering Committee of BTAP now comprised of Ang Bey, Newton Buchanan, Walter DeShields, Dr. Ardencie Hall-Karambe, Noelle Diane Johnson, LaNeshe Miller – White, Lindsay Smiling, Garrick Vaughan, Tai Verley, and Brian Anthony Wilson, endeavours to provide a network for Black theatre artists and to unify our resources for a common goal. The first initiative of the collective is a micro-grant program, currently open to Black Philadelphia theater artists. Interested artists should visit:
“Philadelphia is an extraordinary place for the arts, but the arts woefully underrepresent the demographics of Philadelphia. For years I’ve felt we needed Black built and run organizations to foster growth in the theater community in order to truly represent the city. My colleagues in BTAP came together to do just that.” said Lindsay Smiling, BTAP Steering Committee member, Wilma HotHouse member and actor.
BTAP seeks to expand and offer programming as a resource for Black Artists including, but not limited to healing space workshops, a mentorship program for emerging artists, community gatherings to foster joyful celebration of Blackness, fiscal support for Black Artists, an all Black space for artists to dive into restorative justice practice in their communities, and more. BTAP will also engage with active allies and offer access to DEI training, consultation, and mentorship at cost. Professional development programming will begin in the fall.
More information can be found on the BTAP website: www.blacktheatrephiladelphia.org and by following the group on Instagram @btaphilly. All Greater Philadelphia-based Black artists can also join their Facebook group which can be found here.
The mission of BTAP states – The Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia is a coalition committed to supporting and uplifting the Black theatre artists in the Greater Philadelphia area while challenging and encouraging the Greater Philadelphia theatre community to be more proactive in their commitment to equity and equality.