When people of color in the arts outsell their competitors, or walk away with the biggest prizes during award seasons, it’s easy to focus on the novelty of it all.
However, in doing so, we ignore countless vital conversations. It’s great to watch Shonda Rhimes monopolize everyone’s Thursday nights — but how the hell did she get to that position?
Everybody wants more diversity, but there’s little focus on the nitty-gritty realities of the journeys for minority leaders in the arts. And more importantly, the effect of society on shaping their ideas about leadership—both in their organizations and communities.
The necessity of this discussion has increased since we entered “Trump’s America”—where theatrical expressions already collide with the contentious political atmosphere.
In this vein, and in celebration of our leaders of color series, we caught up again with the cofounders of Theatre in the X — a theatre organization that showcases theatre pieces inspired by the African diaspora for all generations in West Philadelphia, free of charge.
Carlo Campbell, Walter DeShields, and LaNeshe White agreed to speak frankly via email about their ideas of leadership and what it’s like to create art amidst the current sociopolitical atmosphere.