Next Stage Capacity - Building Workshop on Inclusivity

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15 June 2023


Next Stage Initiative

“Selection: Ensuring equal opportunity for candidates participating in casting and hiring”

On 25 May & 7 June 2023, FEDORA held two workshops in collaboration with our Expert Partner BPI - Business Performance Institute, to review current hiring practices in the performing arts sector and build together recommendations of best practices to be applied.

These workshops are dedicated to emerging artists and creatives within opera and dance companies, including but not limited to stage directors, designers, sound designers, composers, performers, digital creatives, videographers, producers and project managers. They are are co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union that is helping to make opera and dance more accessible and innovative.

During two online sessions of 3 hours each, professionals from all around Europe had the opportunity to discuss the challenges and possible solutions regarding inclusivity within the recruitment processes in the performing arts sector.

On the first day of the workshop, participants experienced the challenges of balancing inclusivity with other hiring priorities. They played the role of a fictitious committee hiring a marketing manager, after being provided with the results of a prior pre-selection made by a fictional jury of three candidates. The workshop also included a case study from which participants drew the best practices that make it an inclusive initiative, identifying the specific issues that each best practice addresses.

In the second session, participants were able to put into perspective their own experiences and share their reflections. They also learned more about best practices and current opera houses' initiatives regarding inclusive hiring following a fireside chat with three professionals from the sector. They were then able to develop concrete plan to boost inclusivity within their organizations.

Next Stage Capacity - Building Workshop on Inclusivity

25 MAY 2023 - ACT I

  • Next Stage Ouverture - Introduction and presentation of the Next Stage Initiative by Edilia Gänz, director of FEDORA.

  • Prelude - Participants introduced themselves and pictured their ideal vision for inclusivity in 2025.

  • Scene 1 - The Casting Conundrum: Participants were invited to split into smaller groups and reflect on a case study introducing inclusivity challenges in the hiring process. Participants put themselves in the shoes of the hiring committee of a ballet company looking for their new marketing manager. They had to choose a candidate and explain why they had made this final decision.

  • Scene 2 - The Inspirational Initiative: After a short intermission, the participants were provided with a concrete example of an initiative conducted by a European Opera House and focussing on the issue of inclusivity. In smaller groups, they were invited to identify the best practices of this “lighthouse initiative”.

  • Act I Finale - After this first session, the participants were asked to reflect on their own organisations’ hiring practices and to identify the best practices and the areas of improvement regarding inclusivity. 

Next Stage Capacity - Building Workshop on Inclusivity - Session 1

7 JUNE 2023 - ACT II

  • Scene 1 - The Dynamic Discussion: Attendees shared their reflections on inclusivity challenges and best practices at their own organisations. Through one-on-one “speed-dating” sessions, participants had two minutes to summarise their reflections on inclusive selection and learn from the other participants.

  • Intermezzo - The Fireside Fiesta: Three expert speakers were invited to share the stage and talk about challenges and best practices in their own organisations. Bob Brandsen, Technical & Production Director at Dutch National Opera & Ballet, FEDORA Platform Member, together with Leyla Ercan, Diversity Agent and Laura Berman, Intendantin at Staatsoper Hannover, FEDORA Platform Member, shared their thoughts on some key topics around inclusive selection. A Q&A session followed, during which the participants could actively exchange with the speakers.

  • Scene 2 - The Purposeful Plan: Participants were encouraged to develop a plan to drive inclusive change and boost inclusive selection at their own organisations. This conversation resulted in great ideas and concrete steps to be taken in the following weeks.

  • Act II Finale - Upon successfully completing the Inclusivity workshop, participants were invited to act as inclusivity change makers at their organisations. A booklet of the next possible steps is being produced, summing up their insights for a more inclusive future behind, on and beyond the stage.   

Next Stage Capacity - Building Workshop on Inclusivity - Session 2

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