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Archive for the ‘Administration’ Category

“Self Identification” from Bernardo Mazón

In Administration, Audience Development, Fellowship, Human Resources, Literary, Residency, Shakespeare Dramaturgy Residency, Uncategorized on May 16, 2017 at 5:33 PM

/var/folders/84/dy2qtnz13wddhtx39pw3vr1h0000gn/T/com.apple.iChat/Messages/Transfers/IMG_3700.JPG.jpegMy first sit-down with my supervisor, I tell her, “I want to make a lasting contribution here, what can I do” and she is like, “I know just the thing.” A few more discussions later, and I’m writing a thesis for a research project based on this company’s progression with the equity, diversity, & inclusion movement. I’m setting out to examine how successful the organization has been in terms of hiring and representation onstage/offstage. As I’m crafting this proposal and preparing to share it with jefes here, I step back for a moment and think about the problems I’ll face in collecting data.

Por ejemplo, incomplete records. Sometimes information is archived selectively; we can’t see the whole picture. There’s also tokenism. Quizás we CAN see the whole picture, but there’s no way of knowing if someone was hired based on their merit or for liberal bragging rights. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with the latter, as there is a difference between equity and equality, but the point is that sometimes a step forward is followed by several steps back. It’s common for situations like this to be followed by a long and dreary dryspell of hiring straight, able-bodied white men again—back to the old ways. The greatest obstacle, though, is the following:

Self-identification.

Which is self-explanatory. It’s not enough, no, it’s not right for us to determine a person’s ethnic or gender from their appearance. Furthermore, it’s not like you can do a google search on any given name and see what that person is, because identity is an intimate thing. It ought to be shared, but not necessarily put on display. Therefore, por lo tanto, it’d be unfair (not to mention, crazy wrong) for me to go through a company’s history of hiring and make inferences off their picture. “Are they masculine or are they feminine”, “Their skin is dark, so they’re black”, “Oh, this dude must be Latino, oops, Latinx”, “I can’t see if they’re unable to hear” etc.

Back to my story. Entonces, I have this lump in my throat knowing that my research project is destined for turbulence. When I present my idea to the jefes, I leave out my concerns for fear of sounding too complicated. I neglect my politics in hopes for approval.

Seguramente, the responses are essentially, “Great, except…”. They’re receptive but skeptical. They point out exactly the same ethical difficulties I’d experience, and I’m in quiet awe.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it otra vez: I feel like I’m finally in America. Y eso es porque “self-identification” was not something we knew of in my hometown. Mexican border politics tend to enforce nationalities onto people (and don’t get me started on the Arabic diaspora, for I don’t know enough, but I do feel). The culture I come from doesn’t invite you to decide what you are and how the world ought to see it—let alone celebrate it. And here they are, celebrating it like champions.

Joining the parade, 

Bernardo Mazón
FAIR Literary Resident
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
My pronouns: He/Him/His
American

 

P.S. As a chavalillo, I didn’t like story time at school, because most of the books they chose seemed far-away and unimportant to me. They’d either be about animalitos, fairy tales, or some condescending sh*t talking down to little kids. Every now and then, though, they’d pick books that were about people. And they had a multicultural selection. Pictures of people owning their origins. Those books, those were my favorite thing.

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“A birds-eye view of my life here at OSF” from Sam White

In Administration, Fellowship, Paul Nicholson Arts Management, Producing, Uncategorized on May 3, 2017 at 6:24 AM

FAIR Week 4The start of the week was a bit sad for me as I was feeling extremely homesick and a bit worried about the operations of my home theatre. It is truly a challenge being away from my elderly parents, my adorable nephew and my Shakespeare tribe in Detroit. The homesickness was intensified by my birthday which I celebrated this week. My new years are opportunities for me to reflect on where I am and where I want to see myself go, personally and professionally. But, here’s where the sadness of being thousands of miles away from home and in a different time zone waned: I didn’t have to go about my personal and professional reflections alone this year. I was able to tap into the knowledge, experiences and generous spirits of some of the women in leadership here on campus at OSF. One of them in particular called me into her office and called me out on my overzealous workload. She realized from a previous conversation that I am wearing myself thin at my home theatre. I have some help, but not enough, and the cost of being the fundraiser, the grant writer, the project manager, the bookkeeper and a lot of other things in between is costly. She reminded me of the importance of self-care – something I truly haven’t done regularly in the five years I have been building a Shakespeare company in the D. She also reminded me that while it is noble to want to give back to others, I matter in the equation of my life and my needs and wants are important. I had totally forgotten that. There isn’t a ton of time to think about myself when I am planning seasons, raising money and trying to find the resources to keep a dream alive. My conversation with this amazing woman was just what I needed to hear in this new year of life. I am so proud of the work I have done at home and I hope to continue the mission for Shakespeare for all but, I can’t lie, it’s no longer my greatest priority anymore – I am. If I don’t take care of me, I can’t take care of my elderly parents, I can’t play with my sweet nephew and I definitely can’t run an organization.

There are many great aspects of my OSF fellowship. The access and information that I have available to me are mind blowing. The caliber of artists, designers and technicians here are next level. I remember walking on top of the Thomas Theatre the other day and looking down, thinking to myself how incredible the magic of repertory theatre is and how lucky I am to be here, and the beauty and complexity of living, breathing art. But the greatest gift of this FAIR experience are the people here who want you to become the best version of yourself – from members of my cohort to the company artists and administrators. Being in Detroit meant that I never had the opportunity to fully assess my life because I was in the throes of what I felt I needed to do to contribute to making my hometown better. I needed to get away to learn how I can better serve it or, better yet, serve myself. I have learned a lot and there is more knowledge and experience to come over the next few months of the 2017 season. But what has been the most impactful is the reminder that I matter, and as much as I love him, Shakespeare does not negate that.

“Familiar Strangers” from Nate John Mark

In Administration, Assistantship, Audience Development, Uncategorized on May 1, 2017 at 6:22 AM

conferenceAs the FAIR Audience Development Assistant much of my work here has been in community outreach. We are working hard to connect and form partnerships especially with communities of color. Most recently we have made have reached out to the Indigenous community by inviting ambassadors and other guests from Oregon Indian Education Association and SOU Native American Studies. What they received from us was an opportunity to see one of our amazing productions, a dinner reception, and a pretty good discount for tickets to “Off the Rails.” We were graciously invited to the OIEA conference at SOU and what I received from them was the ignition of an internal flame. These hungry flames consume my spirit and burn a passionate red and an envious green. I want now more than ever to know where I come from. I want now more than ever to truly know my ancestors and hear their stories. Like many Black people, there are so many lost stories in my ancestry. So much wisdom buried underneath the eternal night in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. And that may not even be totally true. How many of our ancestors were captured right here in North America? How many of our ancestors escaped into the mountains of a small Caribbean Island? I see the similarities within Pan African culture, Latinx culture, and now Indigenous culture and I can’t help but think that we all come from the same sacred womb. Brothers and sisters separated at a young age and made to forget the families they were taken from. The ancient pages of our book are scattered across the earth, hidden conspicuously in caves and cliff walls, in pyramids and ancient stone wonders, we write our story over monuments who’s greatness would baffle its witnesses thousands of years later. My family, my Clan, my tribe is out there somewhere waiting to tell me where my journey began. So to my ancestors, whoever you are, I humbly seek presence and wisdom. I will find you. I will listen.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

In Administration on June 30, 2016 at 4:22 PM

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Listen all, Artists near and far!

The Application window is yet ajar.

We’ve extended the Deadline to the 25th of July

In the hopes, for those scrambling, not to cry.

But thrive in knowing that there’s still a chance

To take a leap and with their career, advance.

In management, production, education, design

Within these halls you too will learn to rhyme.

Now go forth and write, revise, till day’s end.

For all our well wishes, we do here, send.

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