Arts, culture, arts education, and creativity are major contributors to quality of life, and the arts and culture sector is an important part of the economy. This study was undertaken by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. (USITT) to better understand the demographic makeup of the technical theatre workforce. This information can be a key tool to help organizations understand the baseline from which progress can be measured in terms of creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive industry.
“USITT and many of our partner organizations along with corporations, universities, and producing entities across the country have a stated goal of creating and sustaining a more diverse and inclusive workforce,” noted USITT Executive Director David Grindle. “But while we have found many studies that look at demographics of performers and art support organizations, we could not find any that focused solely on the workforce in design, technology, and management."
“We felt that USITT should fill that void,” Grindle said, “and establish a baseline from which our industry can measure the effectiveness of equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.”
This study is an important tool to assess diversity within technical theatre field in its current state, providing a baseline to track changes over time. While the impacts of COVID-19 on our society and the performing arts sector specifically are not yet fully known, especially given the rise in the Delta Variant of the virus, this data does shed light on early impacts from the pandemic. Moving forward with attention paid to equity and diversity is essential for the sector, ensuring the communities that make up our society feel welcome and are able to contribute to the important work of the technical theatre field.
USITT has pledged to repeat the study in five years to measure diversification trends in the industry workforce.