When Lauren Van Hemert founded RDU on Stage in 2019, she envisioned it as a conventional media hub for the Triangle theater community – covering the local scene with reviews, features, interviews, and a podcast. But when the pandemic shut theaters down in 2020, the mission became much more about community than traditional theater criticism and one-sided cultural arts reporting. In April 2021, Van Hemert, along with a committed Board of Directors, established a new organization, Beltline to Broadway. And while the purpose of Beltline to Broadway is similar to its predecessor’s, the mission and core values of this new organization differ and reflect a commitment to promoting a variety of voices in this ever-changing field of arts journalism.
Beltline to Broadway’s Mission
To promote the inclusion of a variety of voices in cultural reporting and arts journalism.
Our Core Values
- Establish an inclusive and equitable standard for authentic arts journalism.
- Dismantle discriminatory practices in cultural reporting and arts journalism.
- Democratize theater by engaging in civil discourse, modeling empathy, and practicing compassion.
Aligning Best Practices with Our Core Values
In an effort to establish an inclusive and equitable standard for authentic arts journalism, Beltline to Broadway provides opportunities to emerging writers from all backgrounds, regardless of ability, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or age.
More importantly, to uphold our commitment to dismantling discriminatory practices in cultural reporting and arts journalism, we feel that it is of utmost importance to provide opportunities to BIPOC writers to ensure diverse theater in our region and beyond, is being covered from a place of cultural understanding and lived experience.
Finally, we believe that theater teaches empathy. To that end, it is important for us as an organization to model empathy and practice compassion in everything we do. We are also discovering new ways to democratize theater by creating a public forum in which our community can engage in civil discourse. Our series of live chats and panel discussions, including our TORN: Theater on Racist Negativity series, gives the community a chance to engage with our journalists, panelists, and each other, in real-time.
If you have any questions or suggestions on how Beltline to Broadway can better serve our community, please email lauren[at] beltlinetobroadway.org or connect with us through our Contact Page.