My conversation on gender parity continues with Shellen Lubin. Shellen is a powerhouse. She wears numerous hats as a Songwriter, Playwright, Director, and Vocal/Acting Coach. She is also the Co-President of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, VP of Programming of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and a member of most unions and guilds in our industry, and of the National Theatre Conference.
Shellen shares about The Women in Arts & Media Coalition:
Founded in 1990 (as the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media, Inc.), the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition is a centralized resource for the advancement of professional women in film, theater, television and communications. Combining member organizations’ abilities and strengths in a collaborative effort, the Coalition’s mission is to empower women in these industries through advocacy, mentoring, networking, and events. Members include many of the unions and guilds in our industry, as well as larger and smaller organizations dedicated to the advancement of women.
There are a number of benefits of being a member of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, starting with being part of a movement promoting parity and diversity in our industry. Membership in the Coalition is not by individuals, but by organizations, and is determined by the size of membership. Full Member Organizations have the greatest number of individual members and include unions and guilds, such as Local 802 AFM, Actors’ Equity Association, Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, Stage Directors and Choreographers, Writers Guild of America East, and organizations like the League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film and Television, and New York Women in Communications. Affiliate members include the International Center for Women Playwrights, the Women’s Media Center, Women Make Movies, Women in Music, the Drama Desk, and The National Theatre Conference, to name but a few. Last year a new membership category for academic institutions emerged with The School of Visual Arts becoming the first academic affiliate. All together, the organizational membership totals more than 100,000 women and men.
The Coalition often co-produces events with its member orgs. Member orgs are not only able to help with the design and follow-through of these programs, the Coalition is also available to help with any events from its member orgs that are of particular interest or value to women. If any one of our organizations offers a discount to the broad Coalition membership, the Coalition will publicize those events in their newsletter, calendar, and blog. Additionally, the Coalition is always interested in creating a Cross Meet and Greet between member orgs who are interested in having their membership network with each other. Our last such Meet and Greet was a three-way jam-packed networking event at WGAE with NYWIFT and WMM.
The Coalition offers a huge number of valuable resources on their website.
One useful resource is the Women in the Arts & Media Communal Calendar, which lists all events of interest for women, arts, and media, and is becoming the place to look for events, and to schedule in advance and check for conflicts. As a member of Local 802,, you are a member of The Coalition and are invited to all the events, awards galas, and networking opportunities listed there (unless they are listed as blackout dates only).
Go to http://www.womenartsmediacoalition.org/communal-calendar/ to learn about upcoming events and openings of interest.
Newer projects include: the Studies page, http://www.womenartsmediacoalition.org/studies/, an extensive database with links to Studies around the world on gender representation in theatre, film, and television.
For those seeking funding, residencies and opportunities to submit original work, go to http://www.womenartsmediacoalition.org/opportunities/ for both #StageOpps and #ScreenOpps newsletters.
Last fall the Coalition spearheaded a Percolating Gender Parity in Theatre summit, bringing organizations together from the Coalition and beyond, from around the world, to share and coordinate efforts. A Percolating Gender Parity in Music summit is planned for Fall 2016 and Gender Parity in Media for Spring 2017..
The Coalition also shares news and information from all its member orgs and other organizations of interest on their blog and on facebook and Twitter. Anything any member org has to publicize that would be of interest to sister organizations in the Coalition can be shared by any and all of those means.
The Coalition also sponsors two Signature events, usually one each year in rotation. The first is The Collaboration Awards, which honor professional women in the arts and media from different specializations working collaboratively on the creation of new work. The award recognizes the best of these collaborations. The last Collaboration Awards Gala in 2015 celebrated honorees in the disciplines of playwriting, songwriting, filmmaking, and directing. The winners were playwright T.D. Mitchell and director Sheryl Kaller for QUEENS FOR A YEAR which will be premiering at Hartford Stage in Fall 2016.
The other Signature event for which the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition is known is VintAge, which celebrates older women, and what is possible both in their representation and in their employment. In 2014, The Coalition granted the 1st Elsa Rael VintAge Award, for advocacy of women aging in the arts and media, presented by Tisa Chang to Morgan Jenness for her work on behalf of the playwright Maria Irene Fornes.
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition’s combined membership is larger and more diverse than that of any other alliance of women in the arts and/or media. As a resource for professional development and social exchange, and as a force for the voice and vision of women working towards parity and diversity in the arts and media, the Coalition is a continually expanding force to be reckoned with. It is a wonderful resource from which we hope you will benefit.
Writer/Director/Teacher of Theatre & Music
facebook: Shellen Lubin
Co-President ~ Women in the Arts & Media Coalition
VP of Programming ~ League of Professional Theatre Women
Monday Morning Quote