Post Date: December 18, 2012
Long Beach. I founded/co-created an organization we call LBTAC (“L, B, tack”)…Long Beach Theatre Arts Collaborative. It’s a completely voluntary group under the non-profit group Catalyst Community to better integrate the multiple theatre companies (and audiences) in LB.
Why do you volunteer?
There are actually over 20 companies in this city of over 500,000, and they rarely interact because they’re all busy focusing on their own companies. My job as facilitator (which has actually been in hibernation for a couple months) is to have monthly meetings and keep these theatre professionals in contact so we can better serve the community. There are many who share the belief that Long Beach is a major arts destination (as opposed to “everything” being in Hollywood/LA) and LBTAC was created to better unify the theatre community, only one aspect of the broad arts spectrum in this town.
How it has changed/impacted your life?
It greatly enriched my own artistic development. I moved down to LB in 2009 (when I transferred into CSULB as a Theatre Arts-Directing major), and when I started writing for the Long Beach Acting Examiner in 2010, I started hearing more about the overall theatre community. As I interviewed more theatre professionals in the LBC, I began to realize how much they all wanted something like this, but didn’t have the time to focus on being the pied piper. From my (somewhat unbiased) angle (somewhat, because I wasn’t attached to any of the major companies as an undergrad), I was best suited to contact everyone and be the herald for this brand new endeavor. So for myself, this became a fantastic avenue to network and learn much about the business of theatre outside the classroom while learning about the art inside.
How has your volunteering impacted the community/organization you serve?
It encouraged theatre professionals (who work sometimes literally within walking distance of each other) the opportunity to catch up with other artists, at least once a month. This developed into more frequent communications via email, facebook, etc and the sharing of props, networking for designers and actors, and truly a cultivation of an art that we all simply want to share with this city.