SHIFTING OUR CULTURE

BLACK LIVES MATTER

We unequivocally support the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing struggle for social justice in our community, the nation, and the world. We recognize the devastation caused by decades of systemic racism in this country and we hope to use our art and our organization to help tell stories that increase understanding and build a more equitable society.

Click here to learn more about Milwaukee-based organizations that you can help support.

Our Mission

An important part of our mission is “to inspire deeper thought and discussion into the issues concerning our communities - both local and global." As such, we are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment and sharing a diverse offering of stories.

Our Vision

We want our artists, our art, and our audiences to be a reflection of our greater community.

We hope to help amplify a wide array of artists’ voices through our work.

Our Guiding Principle

We welcome people of all races, ethnicity, national origin, religion, mental and physical abilities, sexual/affectional orientation, gender and its expression as members, collaborating artists, and audience.

Our Commitment

We recognize that building diversity and equity takes continued work, and are committed to fostering anti-racist initiatives to help us build our vision. We realize that we may at times fall short or fail. We promise that we will strive to continually learn and evolve.

This is an ongoing work in progress. We welcome feedback and suggestions at info@cooperativeperformance.org.

Values & Initiatives (our A.C.T.I.O.N. plan)

Access

  • Open auditions are held for all productions (except where precasting is specifically included as a part of the project pitch).

  • Membership in the co-op is not a requirement for auditioning for or participating in any production.

  • While membership is required for project pitches, we are excited to offer grants for membership for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists who wish to present at our annual pitch event. (See the Membership page for how to apply.)

  • Audition and performance sites are accessible by public transportation and ADA-compliant.

  • We believe that roles that call for a particular culture are best served by a performer of that culture. We highly encourage project leads/directors to consider open casting of roles where identity is not a factor.

Communication

  • Audition and performance announcements are shared in neighborhood newsletters in addition to traditional theater sites and our website/social media.

  • At the beginning of each rehearsal process, the artists, with the company representative, determine the best means of communication as well as best practice guidelines, both of which all agree to uphold.

  • We encourage project participants to self-disclose what is important to them about their personal identity, and to do so to the level of their own comfort.

Transparency

  • Members are welcome to attend board meetings. We will post upcoming meetings on our website. (Meetings are currently being held virtually; contact us by email for more information.)

  • We are working to assemble and review our current policies; these will be made available on our website.

  • We are working to develop means to capture and share demographics about our board and membership; these will be made available on our website.

Investment in community

  • Beyond our own productions, board members attend events in our larger community to continually understand the pulse of a wide array of artists and community groups in Milwaukee.

  • Our monthly hangout locations are often held specifically in minority-owned/operated small businesses to help support local entrepreneurs.

Ongoing growth

  • Our leadership commits to listening with their whole self, meeting people where they are and seeking to grow.

  • We pledge to be open to addressing issues of equity and inclusion blind spots in our organization. We want to listen, to engage in dialogue, and to seek to find truth together.

  • We promise to regularly review these values and initiatives to make sure they are best serving our artists and community. We want to continue to grow.

Networking

  • Our monthly hangouts are held specifically in a variety of locations in order to help reach a wide array of interested individuals.

  • We participate in multi-company audition events which foster diversity and traditionally underrepresented artists.

  • We hope to build a collective of both traditional and non-traditional artists, broadening the type of performance and art that we produce, leveraging our non-traditional approach to foster innovation.

  • We seek to partner with affinity groups that serve historically underrepresented groups.