News and Updates
Remembering Micki Hobson
Friday, October 26, 2018 12:00 AM

Micki Hobson –  Rest in Peace, My Dear Friend

Micki Hobson with Ginny Louloudes's son, Zachary, in July of 2004. 

Dear friends,

If you participated in A.R.T./New York’s workshops between 1992 – 2014, you probably met or heard of Micki Hobson. Micki taught audience development, and was one of the very first instructors in our Nancy Quinn Technical Assistance Program. 

Last year, Micki was diagnosed with liver cancer. She found an oncologist she trusted and after conducting exhaustive research she made the decision to avoid any life-extending treatment that would reduce her quality of life. In the last year, she traveled to California for a family reunion, escaped Hurricane Florence by traveling to the western part of North Carolina with her son Kent, and visited with friends and loved ones. On Friday, she entered the hospital and on Monday, October 22nd, surrounded by her son, family, and close friends, she passed away.

Like many of you, I was lucky to have known and worked with Micki. For 26 years, she was my mentor, my teacher, my consultant and, most importantly, my friend. Although I knew she was sick, it has been hard for me to believe that I will no longer see Micki, listen to her teach, or hear her great laugh.

Micki would not want me to write a somber piece about her. Instead, I will celebrate the amazing impact this woman had on A.R.T./New York and me.

Micki helped us develop the Nancy Quinn Fund and Technical Assistance Program. After meeting our (at the time) 100 members with annual budgets below $100,000, she was among the first to realize that NYC’s young companies were, and are, our hope for the future. Micki understood that you didn’t need to be an institution to be a company; in fact, she often advised against it. She believed that future theatre companies would thrive by remaining nimble and, to use her words, “able to turn on a dime!” Peculiar Works, the Mint, New Georges, Encompass New Opera, NY Artists Unlimited, NAATCO…these are just a few of the companies she loved working with.

Micki’s work with A.R.T./New York spanned 24 years and three A.R.T./New York office locations. She loved A.R.T./New York and every one of our member companies. She brought decades of hands-on experience and tremendous integrity to her work. Everything she taught she had done herself. She believed in strategic partnerships, face-to-face outreach, and the power of the theater to change perceptions and lives. Micki was a true force of nature!

Micki loved the outdoors; especially the beach, which sustained her. Whenever I look up at the sky, or smell the breeze from the Atlantic, I will think of her. In this way, her beautiful spirit will live on.

I have reached out to Micki’s son, and will let you know once a New York City Memorial Service is planned.  

Ginny Louloudes

 
 
Introducing Body Autonomy
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:00 AM

A.R.T./New York has been closely following the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements while listening to the stories and concerns of our members. We've heard that artists and administrators do not know who to report uncomfortable or unsafe interactions to, and how there is a lack of outside support and knowledge about harassment and abuse. We've seen how the traditional power dynamics of a rehearsal room or audition space can be heavily skewed, leaving many without an outlet to bring forward concerns for fear of losing their jobs, possibly harming their career, or being put in an unsafe position. In a collaborative art form, this is unacceptable.


As A.R.T./New York has shaped plans for addressing these issues in our programming, we worked intentionally to build our programming on the framework of restorative justice, and the theories of body autonomy and affirmative consent. Thanks to generous support from the New York Community Trust, we are excited to launch Body Autonomy: A new program that combats cultures of abuse and empowers actors, artists, and participants with control over their bodies on and off stage. Body Autonomy consists of three components:

 

  1. Education and professional development for member companies and their staffs,
  2. Microgrants to offset the cost of hiring Intimacy Directors for productions including nudity and/or intimate scenes, and 
  3. A subsidized ombud program. This provides an independent, trained person who can assist individuals in mediating conflicts, anonymously sharing concerns, and generally act as a liaison for the organization and the individuals involved in the production. 

The programming will be overseen by a leadership council of artists and administrators. A.R.T./New York is committed to centering the voices and leadership of people of color; trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, queer folx, and other marginalized voices.

 
 
Introducing Access A.R.T./New York
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:00 AM

As the fall season starts, we are thrilled to announce a new programming initiative. Access A.R.T./New York provides programs and services to create a more inclusive nonprofit theatre sector that is better equipped to serve artists, audiences, and staff with disabilities.

There are many barriers, like cost and education, that make it difficult for small nonprofit theatres to become fully inclusive spaces and provide accessible spaces and programs to their patrons and artists. We hope to work with you to shift New York towards a more welcoming and accessible place for all artists, staff, and audiences through new and expanded programs, including

  1. A partnership with Hands On and microgrants to support ASL theatrical interpretation,

  2. An expanded suite of workshops and educational programming on topics around accessibility,

  3. Cohort learning opportunities and ongoing meetings with cohort members, and

  4. Accessibility consulting through the Theatre Leadership Program.

These programs build on work A.R.T./New York has supported for the past few years, and we hope that these new and expanded opportunities will help member theatres become more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible places.

 
 
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