Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OOB's seat at the table

(ed. note: On Tuesday, Feb. 17, a large and impressive theatre community contingent attended the “Community Board Congress on the State of Small to Mid-Sized Theaters – Developing Strategies in this time of Crisis and Opportunity” hosted by NYC Community Boards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. We’ll have more coverage of this coming soon. )

At the Public Forum last night,
while some said there weren’t that many new ideas, I heard something new, very loud and clear:
Our local government is asking for us to help shape the very policy that affects us.
Here are some quotes by various speakers last night:
“Prepare a platform for us”
“Give us the roadmap"
“create a document” [that local government can view as a roadmap and be held accountable to]
“hold us to a higher standard”
and, again,
“give us a roadmap to the product you [expect from government]”

and, perhaps most importantly:
“it’s unbelievable how few people it takes on message to [move] a politician”

What is required to make this happen?

We must be active out in our community government, not just inside our theatres. We are citizens, with the right to representation. But that representation is not going to just happen to us. We have to give local government what they’re asking from us: Our input, our involvement, and our committed effort:

Things to do now:
  • Find your local community board. go to the meetings. get to know your board. let them know your needs.
  • Find other companies with similar vested interest and band together to lobby local government and support institutions.
  • Create documentation and champion it with local government. Make it good, and push, push, push. Then listen, listen, listen. Then respond.
  • Actively network with other institutions and support organizations. Let them know what you’re doing. A bunch of good ones were in the room last night, and they can help you connect with more. Communicate.
We have been invited to take a seat at the table. We must fill it with authority, intelligence, cooperation, and responsibility.

Nick Micozzi
Executive Director
New York Innovative Theatre Awards

PUBLIC FORUM UPDATES: what'd we miss?

I am thrilled to hear about the number of people that showed last night, and those of us that ran from set to rehearsal, or waited tables, or typed up meeting notes for our bosses or were stuck in tech owe you a huge thanks for representing the community.

Thank you.

So now, I'd like to call on the community to report back. Let us know your thoughts, questions, concerns: How was it? Do you feel as if anything happened? Did the number of attendees affect anything? Who spoke? How many people were there? It's up to us to keep the momentum going.

I dare you to report first. :)