Michaela Bulkley

Michaela Bulkley

Michaela is unapologetically passionate about building the performing arts community and culture to be more sustainable. Her BA in Theatre Producing, Masters in Nonprofit Management, and experience in marketing and arts management, all perfectly align in her dream job of working at LA STAGE Alliance. To learn more about her adventures in arts admin follower her on Instagram: @michaela.bulkley

Community Conversation Recap

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What’s next at LA STAGE Alliance?

We recently had a Community Conversation to connect with our members and stakeholders to reconnect, receive feedback, and answer questions about the changes that have been happening at LA STAGE Alliance. We would like to thank all those that attended and sent in their feedback.

First and Foremost, LA STAGE Alliance is alive and well and we are excited for the next chapter, with our priorities being on communication and collaboration with our members to build programs you need.

We have plenty of ideas, ambitious goals, and exciting strategies to make them happen, but we are looking to take a pulse of the community and see what you need to feel empowered as artists. We are already diligently working on increasing diversity in voters, realigning fees, and increasing membership benefits. Eventually we would love to help more of the larger performing arts sector to collaborate with Dance, Opera, Music, and more. The hope is that if we broaden our resources we can build a more collaborative and stronger performing arts sector in a community that is built on multi-hyphenated artists.

The two main topics that our members had questions on were surrounding communication and engagement. The most common question we received was “What’s next for LASA?”

We recognize that our communication skills need significant improvement. This includes both members and nonmembers regarding staff changes, programming updates, and the more internal aspects of our organization. We have written plenty of press releases, but did not check to see if that information landed where it needed to be. To remedy this situation, we will be increasing our direct communication with our members. We will be regularly sending newsletters and increasing our posting on social media to improve communication, as well as streamlining email responses.

We want this development to be a conversation, which means we need you to communicate with us as well. As an organization, we want to engage our community beyond the Ovation Awards. We have been working on programs that are beneficial to the whole ecosystem, but recognize that membership benefits need to be more focused. In the coming months we will be sending out surveys regarding companies and individual artists, we ask that you take them and share them. We want to ensure that our programming aligns with the needs of our community.

During the community conversation, we were asked what success looks like for our organization. To us, success looks like a Los Angeles where empathy and collaboration thrive and diverse stories are told through performing arts. By empowering artists and engaging audiences in Los Angeles, we are creating a more sustainable and inclusive arts sector. Through our programs, like the Ovations, onStage, ThisStage, and our membership levels, we are curating the conversation about how and why arts should be created in a way that build community and collaboration. We aim to achieve these goals by developing and launching our individual membership model, increasing our online presence and engagement to engage younger and more diverse artists and audiences, and advancing our communication with our members and the public.

During the Community Conversation we also gave a public update about our existing programs and the next steps in those individual areas of the organization.

The Ovation Rules Committee has been hard at work diversifying our voter pool and being the voice for the theatre companies in an ever-changing creative world. This year we had 99 new voters apply, compared to last year’s 71. We are already working on the 30th Ovation Awards show and will be sending out a save the date in the next coming months.

Our newest program, onStage was built to replace our old discount ticketing platform, LaStageTix, but to be more of a “one-stop shop” for theatre listings, news, reviews, and discount tickets in Greater LA. It is so much more than discount ticketing and has more information about the companies and artists. Event listing is open to anyone in the arts community, but selling discount tickets is still reserved for member companies only. It was designed with the citizens of LA and tourists in mind and allows site visitors to find shows, company profiles, and follow work from specific companies.

@ This Stage is adjusting to be a digital media platform that focuses on curating content that best serves and represents our members and community. This will include a visual redesign, empowering more diverse voices in the field, and launching a series of audio and visual content for professional development. The goal is to bring in younger and more diverse artists and audiences through a strong online presence. We believe this will also help with building a brand for the theatre community in Los Angeles.

We are putting our membership benefits as a priority.  This fall we will be hosting LA STAGE Day. We will be building an online portal with workshops and resources for our organizational members. We get that being somewhere in person at a certain time is hard for our members, so by putting these resources online you can access them on your time.

The goal is to also use this portal as a way to launch our individual membership program to encourage artists that are not currently in leadership positions to be prepared for that next step. That could be starting their own theatre company, or joining one of our member companies, but this is our plan to increase the number of empowered artists in our community. Fill out this interest form to provide suggestions regarding the individual membership program.

 

We highly encourage people to stay up to date with LA STAGE Alliance’s upcoming programs by signing up for our newsletter at LASTAGEAlliance.com or follow us on social media @lastagealliance on all platforms.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to be an active participant in these focus groups, please email wecare@lastagealliance.com.