The following is a general list of organizations, theatre companies and other resources with specific interest and expertise regarding diversity in the arts. Please note this is not a definitive list, but a representative sample.
If you know of other resources that might be useful to the communities we serve, please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Inclusion the Arts is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other websites or the third-party website’s content or use of language. Reference in this website to any specific organization, association, agency, service, program or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by Inclusion in the Arts.
AMERINDA – American Indian Artists Inc. works to empower Native Americans, break down barriers, and foster intercultural understanding and appreciation for Native culture. Through a variety of arts programs and services to artists, AMERINDA supports Native artists who embody the traditional practices and values that define Indian culture. We also promote the indigenous perspective in the arts to a wide audience through the creation of new work in contemporary art forms – visual, performing, literary and media arts.
ASIAN AMERICAN ARTS ALLIANCE – The Asian American Arts Alliance is dedicated to strengthening Asian American arts and cultural groups through resource sharing, promotion, and community building. Since 1983, the Alliance has sought to unify, promote and represent the artistic and cultural producers of one of New York City’s fastest-growing ethnic populations. The organizations is a diverse alliance of artists, organizations, and arts supporters who believe that working together as a pan-ethnic, multidisciplinary community is essential to nurturing the development of artists and arts organizations and to providing meaningful and innovative ways for civic engagement in society.
ASIAN AMERICAN PERFORMERS ACTION COALITION – AAPAC’s mission is to expand the perception of Asian American performers in order to increase their access to and representation on New York City’s stages.
DOWN SYNDROME IN THE ARTS AND MEDIA – DSiAM works with the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles and other Ds Affiliates across the U.S. to provide Casting Liaison for Talent with Ds and other developmental disabilities, Script Consultation, Visual Artist Referrals and Media Advocacy.
GLAAD – GLAAD works with print, broadcast and online news sources to bring people powerful stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality and with the entertainment media to bring LGBT characters and plotlines to movie theaters, television sets and even comic books, to ensure accurate and diverse representations of LGBT people on the big and small screens. GLAAD also publishes a number of reports, including Where We Are on TV.
HANDS ON – The mission of Hands On is to provide access to arts and cultural programs for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. We offer the information and services needed to ensure their active participation in New York’s vibrant cultural mainstream. Today, Hands On produces 20 to 30 interpreted performances annually, with a track record of over 500 shows to date. It maintains an active web site, which features its monthly Cultural Calendar, Resource Directory, and generates input from Deaf people around the world.
HISPANIC ORGANIZATION OF LATIN ACTORS – In expanding job opportunities for Hispanic actors, HOLA strengthens and supports the available talent pool through its professional educational services and awards for excellence in theater. Ultimately, HOLA strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotyped portrayal of Hispanic culture, people and heritage in theatre, film, television, radio and commercials.
INCLUSION IN THE ARTS – Inclusion in the Arts is the nation’s leading advocate for full diversity as a key to the vitality and dynamism of American theatre, film, and television. We promote authentic dialogue about race, culture, and disability that embraces the complexity of underlying social and historical issues and advocate for full inclusion of artists of color and performers with disabilities at all levels of production in theatre, film, television, and related media. Our work also extends to audiences, particularly those belonging to underserved and historically excluded communities. Principal programs include the Advocacy, Consulting and Information Program; the Disability/Accessibility Initiative, and the National Diversity Forum. Through these activities, Inclusion in the Arts has become the primary catalyst for and facilitator of increased diversity and inclusion on a national level.
PROJECT HOOP – The Project HOOP Website presents the following brief profiles of seven of the 14 Native American theatre companies, projects, and support organizations represented at the 3rd annual national Native performing arts conference held in Los Angeles in December, 2004. The profiles are based on verbal presentations by each project’s spokesperson and have been edited by the presenters and the HOOP website.
THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND – TDF, a not-for-profit organization, was created with the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. TDF’s twofold mission is to identify and provide support, including financial assistance, to theatrical works of artistic merit and to encourage and enable diverse audiences to attend live theatre and dance in all their venues.
THEATRE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP – TCG is the national organization for the American theatre mission is to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre, serving nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through our conferences, events, research and communications; grants to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level and serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.
VSA – VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. With 52 international affiliates and a network of nationwide affiliates, VSA is providing arts and education programming for youth and adults with disabilities around the world.
ACTORS ACCESS – Actors Access is the open window to the breakdowns for actors. The information in Actors Access includes only those projects which Breakdown Services/Showfax have been given permission to release in Actors Access by the Casting Director. It is a service of Breakdown Services, Inc.
AMPUTEES IN HOLLYWOOD – Our mission is the accurate portrayal of the amputee in the media, amputees in amputee roles in movies and on television, and the authentic representation of prostheses and the professionals who design and fit them.
BACKSTAGE – For more than 50 years, Backstage has been the most trusted place for actors to find career advice and casting information.
BREAKDOWN SERVICES – Breakdown Services, Ltd. is the communications network and casting system that provides the most professional means to reach talent agents as well as actors when casting a project. Breakdown Services has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver and maintains affiliate relationships with sister companies in Toronto, London and Sydney. With clients in most regions of the USA and Provinces of Canada our reach extends throughout North America.
CASTING NETWORKS, LOS ANGELES – A software company dedicated to providing business solutions for entertainment professionals. By creating tools for communication, scheduling, media management, marketing, career development, and talent scouting, we are streamlining some of the most complex processes facing the industry and creating an environment that will make it easier for these professionals to find work and get their jobs done.
NOW CASTING – Now Casting is the premier actor services company in Los Angeles. We provide the tools that empower actors to take control of their careers and give them the best chance at realizing their goals of becoming working actors.
PLAYBILL.COM – News, features, performance listings for Broadway, Off-Broadway, London and regional theatre. Buy discount theater tickets and get casting information.
THEATRE BAY AREA –TBA’s mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, working on behalf of our conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a healthy and truly democratic society, and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth.
DIVERSITY-FOCUSED THEATRE COMPANIES
THE APOTHETAE (New York) – The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of full-length plays about the “Disabled Experience,” focusing on newly commissioned works by both established and up and coming playwrights, and extant work featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with disabled themes. By making visible the human impact of disabled people throughout history, we believe empathy can be practiced, perceptions changed, and new communities forged through the collaborative and transformative power of the artistic process.
ASIAN AMERICAN THEATRE COMPANY (San Francisco) – AATC is dedicated to connecting people to Asian American cultures through theater in the Bay Area.
THE BLACK REP (St. Louis) – The Black Rep provides platforms for theatre, dance and other creative expressions from the African-American perspective that heighten the social and cultural awareness of its audiences.
CROSSROADS THEATRE COMPANY (New Jersey) – Crossroads is dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora, presents honest and positive portrayals of people of color from around the world, provides a nurturing working environment for writers and artistic collaborators through supporting the commissioning, development, presentation and documentation of new scripts, uses art to provoke and challenge a multicultural audience to a higher sense of communion, educates audiences by creating bridges of understanding between people of all cultural backgrounds in this society and the world.
CORNERSTONE THEATRE COMPANY (Los Angeles) – Cornerstone is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based theater company. We commission and produce plays which combine the artistry of professional and community collaborators. By making theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of theatrical experience, Cornerstone builds bridges between and within diverse communities in our home city of Los Angeles and nationwide.
EAST WEST PLAYERS (Los Angeles) – As the nation’s premier Asian American theatre organization, East West Players produces artistic works and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific experiences.
GALA THEATRE (Washington, D.C.) – GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latinoamericanos) Hispanic Theatre is a National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the nation’s capital. For 34 years, GALA has been promoting and sharing the Latino arts and cultures with a diverse audience, creating work that speaks to communities today, and preserving the rich Hispanic heritage for generations that follow. By developing and producing works that explore the breadth of Latino performing arts, GALA provides opportunities for the Latino artist, educates youth, and engages the entire community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives.
THE GIFT THEATRE (Chicago) – The mission of The Gift is to tell great stories onstage with honesty and simplicity. The Gift believes a play never closes until everyone who saw it stops thinking about it and that art is, at its best, a sacred conversation between actor and audience, revealing the joy and pain of being human. In other words, a gift.
LABYRINTH THEATRE COMPANY (New York) – Labyrinth Theater Company was founded in 1992 by a small group of actors who wanted to push their artistic limits and tell new, more inclusive stories that expanded the boundaries of mainstream theater. In doing so, they created a tightly knit, uninhibited and impassioned ensemble that created incendiary and vital new works for the stage that redefined the landscape of New York City theater.
LATINO THEATER COMPANY (Los Angeles) – which operates the Los Angeles Theater Center, has demonstrated over 23 years of commitment to creating and producing Latino-American theatre for the Los Angeles area.
MA-YI THEATRE (New York) – Founded in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company is a Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers. Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today.
PAN ASIAN REP (New York) – Founded over 30 years ago to provide a forum for Asian American Artists to participate in American Theater by Artistic Producing director Tisa Chang, Pan Asian Repertory Theater is America’s first theatre to explore the Asian-American experience.
MO’OLELO (San Diego) – Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company’s mission is to create, produce, and educate. Through all three aspects, we seek to broaden the scope of San Diego’s cultural environment by offering professional, socially-conscious theater that provides a voice for diverse and underrepresented populations, aesthetics, and issues on stage; generates participation and dialogue between local communities; and creates paid employment for local theater artists.
MIXED BLOOD THEATRE (Minneapolis) – Mixed Blood has invited the global village into its audience and onto its stage for its unique brand of provocative, inclusive, and predictably unpredictable theater since 1976. With programming in its historic firehouse in Minneapolis, in satellite venues throughout the Upper Midwest, and in the national workplace, Mixed Blood leads audiences to a much larger world, using relevant and entertaining theater to spawn a ripple effect of social change.
NOOR THEATRE (New York) – Noor Theatre was founded by New York theatre makers, Artistic Director Lameece Issaq, Executive Director Maha Chehlaoui and Producing Artistic Director Nancy Vitale. The idea was born from the rising tide of talent coming from the Middle Eastern community here in the US. All three founders have worked within that community extensively as writers, actors, dramturgs and directors.
PENUMBRA THEATRE (St. Paul) – Penumbra creates professional productions that are artistically excellent, thought provoking, relevant, and illuminate the human condition through the prism of the African American experience.
PHAMILY THEATRE COMPANY (Denver) – Phamaly’s mission is to inspire people to re-envision disability through professional theatre.
RISING CIRCLE THEATRE COLLECTIVE (New York) – Rising Circle is dedicated to broadening the scope of storytelling on the American stage. We accomplish this by providing an artistic home for artists of color that empowers them to seek out unheard stories of people of color, thereby inspiring the creation of theater that challenges cultural misperceptions in an effort to bridge social divides.
SILK ROAD RISING (Chicago) – Silk Road Rising (formerly known as Silk Road Theatre Project) creates live theatre and online videos that tell stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses. In representing communities that intersect and overlap, they advance a polycultural worldview.
THEATRE BREAKING THROUGH BARRIERS (New York) – TBTB is the only Off-Broadway theater, and one of the few theaters in the country, dedicated to advancing actors and writers with disabilities and changing the image of people with disabilities from dependence to independence.
TRUE COLORS THEATRE COMPANY (Atlanta) – The name True Colors reflects a promise to search for truth and clarity. True Colors Theatre Company’s mission is creating a moveable feast of theatre grounded in the rich canon of African-American classics and branching out to include bold interpretations of world drama and a strong commitment to diverse new voices, helping to develop those early-career writers who are creating tomorrow’s classics today.
ASIAN AMERICAN FILM LAB ACTOR DIRECTORY contains diverse and talented actors, searchable by gender, age range, union status, languages spoken, and more!
ASIAN CINEVISION is 501(c)(3) nonprofit media arts organization devoted to the development, exhibition, promotion, and preservation of Asian and Asian American film and video.
COLLEGE RESOURCES FOR DISABLED STUDENTS is a comprehensive guide to accessibility, accommodation, and assistive technology for a diverse range of needs, from BestColleges.com.
THE KENNEDY CENTER nurtures new works and young artists, creating performances, broadcasts, and touring productions while serving the nation as a leader in arts and arts management education. Educational programming includes: Arts and Schools, Career Development, VSA and Accessibility, Events and Performances and the DeVos Institute.
MEDIA IMAGE COALITION is a program of the Los Angeles Country Commission on Human Relations, with a mission to promote increased visibility, diversity and balanced imagery of ethnic, cultural, racial and religious groups, women, LGBTQ, seniors, people with disabilities and other protected groups subject to unfair portrayals in media and the arts.
NATIONAL ARTS AND DISABILITY CENTER AT UCLA provides resources, information and training focused on the inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.
PERFORMING ARTS STUDIO WEST provides professional hands-on individualized training, career management, and on-location support for performers with developmental disabilities working in film, television and commercials.
I AM PWD was a three-year Tri-Union (SAG, AFTRA, Actors’ Equity) campaign for Inclusion in the Arts and Media of People with Disabilities (I AM PWD). Its goal was to enhance the status and promote the advancement of performers with disabilities; nurture members knowledge and skills; improve members professional careers through the sharing and dispersing of information; promote the profession as a whole; further the understanding of the profession and foster understanding and respect for the disabled performers within; develop and improve working standards and assist in the continuing development of ethical standards for practitioners in the industry.
WOMEN IN FILM MENTORING PROGRAM The mission of the Women In Film Foundation Mentoring Program is to nurture emerging female and male talent in the entertainment industry by connecting WIF members with established professionals who can offer advice and guidance.
GUILDS & UNIONS
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION (“AEA” or “Equity”), founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 48,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.
AMERICAN GUILD OF MUSICAL ARTISTS (AGMA) represents the men and women who create America’s operatic, choral and dance heritage.
AMERICAN GUILD OF VARIETY ARTISTS (AGVA) is an AFL-CIO-affiliated labor union founded in 1939 to represent performing artists and stage managers for live performances in the variety field and is a branch of The Associated Actors and Artistes of America (commonly referred to as “The 4 A’s”), the parent union to AGVA, as well as to other performer unions including Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), SAG-AFTRA, American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), and Guild of Italian American Actors (GIAA, formerly Italian Actors Union, IAU). These are our sister unions, and we are all branches under the same parent union. Each of these unions gets its operating Charter from the 4 A’s.
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.