Equity, Access & Inclusion
Equity, access and inclusion are core values at the Lark. We believe in the power of theater, in the empathy that results from hearing a new story and the better world that emerges after a shared experience. It is central to our mission that The Lark champions diverse stories and extraordinary writers. The Lark prioritizes voices and perspectives that have been historically misrepresented and under-resourced by the theater field by providing development opportunities, resources and connections to our growing community. We recognize that differences in identity including age, background, class, gender, nationality, physical ability, race, sexual orientation and thinking style bring vibrancy to our organization and that such differences help us better connect with the stories that reflect our world. Our goal is to create and maintain a welcoming and inclusive organization that is continually working towards equity.
The Lark’s values of access and inclusion are vital to every part of the organization. Below are a few examples of activities launched as part of our work towards equity.
Brown Bag Lunch Program
An open forum for all staff and apprentices to lead discussion around topics of access and inclusion. To learn more about The Lark’s discussion guidelines, which are adapted from Theatre Communication Group’s guidelines, click below.
Free Public Programming
We strive to launch and sustain programs that make it more economically viable to make and attend theater. We are committed to increasing the socio-economic diversity of our community by ensuring all programs are free to artists and all tickets to Lark programming are free for the public.
Open Access Play Submissions
We have an open submission and play review process that allows any and all writers to submit to our Playwrights Week program and guarantees all submissions will be read from start to finish. Check out how to submit a play.
Portfolio of Fellowships
The Lark has a portfolio of fellowships designed to provide artistic and financial support to writers. Current Fellowships include: PoNY (Playwrights of New York) Fellowship, which provides an emerging writer with housing in New York City’s theater district, financial and artistic support including a seat in The Lark’s Playwrights Workshop; Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, a year-long residency designed to help address the lack of inclusion of early career playwrights of color in the theater field; Jerome New York Fellowship providing financial and creative support to an early-career writer in support of the creation of a body of work.
In 2012 The Lark made a strategic shift from a traditional internship program into a season-long apprentice program. This program was designed to deepen our commitment to emerging arts administrators by providing increased educational and financial support. All apprentices attend Brown Bag lunches and workshops on Access and Inclusion.
The Lark is committed to ongoing skills building with staff, apprentices and Board members. The only way to fulfill our mission is if The Lark staff and Board members engage in a process of ongoing learning and work to expand our knowledge of different cultures in a variety of ways. Past workshop guest facilitators have included Donna Walker-Kuhne, Sarah Bellamy, Dafina MacMillan and Ty Defoe.
Want to know more about our equity, access and inclusion work? Have any suggestions about what we can do next or what we can do better? Contact Director of Community Relationships Anna Kull and/or Managing Director Michael Robertson.
Interested in how YOU can get involved at The Lark? There are lots of ways to engage with the Lark community. We have about 50 public events every year that are free and open to the public. You can submit a script, volunteer, become a donor and more.