The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Culture (DEI & C) Committee of the Illinois Theatre Association held a series of listening sessions with members who volunteered to participate. Before the series of three sessions were held, the Committee sent a survey to all members about their feelings of diversity, equity, inclusion, and culture within the ITA. From these three listening sessions, we learned that:
- Email communication from the ITA in general can be overwhelming.
- Our members sometimes don’t fully understand the mission of the ITA and are not always feeling informed about who is in leadership.
- Members feel there is sometimes a lack of opportunity to connect across divisions.
- Sometimes there is confusion between the work we do and other arts organizations across the state.
- Members would like information sessions so they can learn about ITA and the Board.
- Past leaders of the ITA would like to stay involved as sounding boards to continue to support the work of the ITA.
- Those who participated enjoyed learning about the work of the DEI & C committee.
- We need to rework our website to be more functional and user-friendly.
- Finances need to be made available for additional training for the Board and all ITA Members.
- The DEI and C Committee will be taking this information and using it to inform decision making within the committee, plan future sessions and panel series, and report to the Board on ITA member needs beyond the scope of this committee to encourage action and changes to better serve the members.
Thanks to those who completed the survey and participated in our first round of listening sessions.