Black Theatre Coalition, the organization founded to increase employment opportunities for Black theatre professionals, has named Lico Whitfield as program director and Olivia Jones as executive director.
Whitfield has over a decade of experience navigating the worlds of professional commercial and non-profit theatre. Jones, who has dedicated her career to amplifying diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the arts and culture sector, was a recipient of the inaugural APAP|NYC 2020 Duke Access Award and has held roles at Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Arena Stage. She also currently serves on Trusty Sidekick Theatre Company's Board of Directors.
“Once we identified just how vast the disparity is between the perceived inclusivity on stage and the utter dearth of black professionals off stage, we began outlining ways in which we could address and ultimately eradicate this invisible imparity," say Black Theatre Coalition co-founders T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reginald "Reggie" Van Lee in a joint statement. "This outline provided a clear path forward for our organization and our entire industry. It’s high time to end this ‘illusion of inclusion’ by reshaping the theatrical ecosystem for those who have been marginalized by systematically racist and biased power structures that have endured since the dawn of the American theatre.”
Black Theatre Coalition recently completed its inaugural Apprentice Program with the opening of the Broadway revival of Company. BTC's ongoing Broadway Fellowship Program has funded 20 fellows with more to come in this first year; the organization also has a regional fellowship program in cooperation with Broadway Across America/JGO.
BTC encourages Black theatre professionals to add their information for an upcoming database by visiting its website.