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Professional Development Initiative

BAX Education programs are organized around principles of inclusion, community, and cultivating authentic voice through the performing arts. In the last six years we have engaged in explicit inquires of how to build racial equity in our dept. and cultivate anti-racist teaching and learning practices.

Since 2017, BAX Faculty’s Racial Equity and Professional Development Cohort has applied a race explicit lens to BAX youth education with the goal of building anti-racist arts education practices and opportunities for racial equity interventions. Annually, the cohort has been made up of four to six faculty members, one of whom is Donna Costello, BAX’s longstanding Education Programs Consultant and Lead Facilitator. In addition to these faculty members, BAX’s Education Director (Lucia Scheckner) and Manager (Ashley R. Thaxton-Stevenson) are members of the cohort.

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Costello leading a workshop at the 2019 Arts in Education Roundtable Face to Face Conference hosted by City College of New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The purpose and actions of the Racial Equity Professional Development Cohort are manifold.

First, the intention to provide more leadership opportunities to faculty of color and LGBTQ, and, in doing so, diffuse and collectivize historically hierarchical institutional leadership positions.

Second, it is to create intentional space for a greater range of voices and perspectives to be heard, seen, and represented, particularly those voices that been historically marginalized.

And, ultimately, to make these efforts in a way that embodies a diversity of race, gender, and artistic discipline. Cohort members are compensated meeting stipends and additionally for each event that they participate in and/or facilitate.

 

 

As a social justice organization whose vehicle is the performing arts, BAX uniquely embodies the ways in which artistic and social justice practices are similar: both require a long term commitment to being-in-process, to wrestling with the questions, and to visioning new ways the world can be. To this end, we also look forward to offering new inter-generational workshops at BAX that will engage a greater spectrum of inter-sectional topics and complement our professional artist services events. These will include, for example, workshops, town-halls, and performance shares that explore race, gender, queer, and disability inclusion, and more. By creating space for interpersonal and community exchanges to happen at the local level, we better prepare ourselves to be the visionaries and actors needed to transform the crises of our time.