Share |

Theater Offensive, Inc.

 565 Boylston Street, 3rd Floor
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 661-1600
[F] (617) 266-1601
www.thetheateroffensive.org
[email protected]
Adrian Budhu
Facebook Twitter
INCORPORATED: 1989
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3039900

LAST UPDATED: 02/01/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

--

Mission StatementMORE »

The Theater Offensive’s Mission is to present the diversity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities.

 

Mission Statement

The Theater Offensive’s Mission is to present the diversity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities.

 


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,232,800.00
Projected Expense $1,219,253.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • OUT In Your Neighborhood
  • True Colors: OUT Youth Theater

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Theater Offensive’s Mission is to present the diversity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities.

 


Background Statement

Founded in 1989, The Theater Offensive grew out of the seminal guerilla street performance troupe United Fruit Company. The founding Executive Artistic Director Abe Rybeck has led it for all of its twenty-five years. During its history, TTO has always sought to support the creation of new and original work; and artists of color have completed a majority of the productions. Over the years, some of TTO’s most notable programs have included A Street Theater Named Desire, which conducted wellness-focused outreach performances at sites where gay men gather; Out on the Edge, an annual festival of cutting-edge LGBT performance; Plays at Work, in which TTO developed new works that have gone on to productions as far away as London, San Francisco, and Mexico City; and Come As You Are, a nationally coordinated series of performance events in 13 sites around the United States, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

“I shouldn’t have to take two trains and a bus just to be who I really am. I want to be OUT in my own neighborhood.”

– Ashley, 18, Mattapan, True Colors troupe member

In 2010, TTO engaged its constituents, collaborators, volunteers, Board and Staff in a comprehensive strategic planning process, which resulted in a major shift in the organizational approach to its mission. The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood (OUT’hood) is the name of this approach. It draws on TTO’s rich history of community-based work to focus all of the organization’s creative resources on building safer, thriving neighborhoods.

Now in it’s 26th year, The Theater Offensive remains Boston’s only cultural organization that uses the arts as a foundation for grassroots OUT activism in Boston’s neighborhoods. Currently, OUT’hood collaborates with and within four Boston neighborhoods: Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and the South End. We work closely and collaboratively with artists, neighborhood residents, community groups and local businesses to create and present profound performances by and about the diverse OUT presence in the neighborhoods. Our programming is designed to prioritize the self-identified needs of low-income residents of color, reflect the diversity of the neighborhoods, and give voice to underserved OUT members of Boston’s many communities.


Impact Statement

 The overall long-term impact that TTO will achieve through OUT’hood is: “OUT residents actively participating in efforts that build neighborhood diversity, equity, safety, and vitality.” To achieve this, TTO programming has set the following intended outcomes:

1) Open dialogue in the neighborhood;

2) Encourage participation in OUT'hood activities that reflects the diversity of the neighborhoods in which they're created and;

3) Ensure that OUTness is celebrated in neighborhood happenings and by neighborhood organizers.

For TTO, OUTness is defined as being honest about one’s sexuality and gender and then choosing to share this with others. OUTness is the LGBT’s s greatest cultural contribution to society. While the term OUT is most often associated with the LGBT movement, the concept of OUTness resonates far beyond it. OUTness is the way in which people’s personal identity can contribute to a movement. Identifying society’s privilege systems and compelling activists to be more honest about our relationships in those systems can contribute to the dismantlement of racism, sexism, classism, and other institutional oppressions.

Top accomplishments from this past year have made progress towards achieving these outcomes.

· 98% of People of Color attending OUT’hood activities would recommend future participation to peers;

· Worked with 40 local artists, 7 national artists, 41 youth artists, and 585 community participants;

· 53 community groups, businesses, or agencies collaborated with us in over 95 activities;

· 90% of audience members agree that they better understand LGBT issues and will make supportive choices in the future.


Needs Statement

1. Sustain the expanded True Colors: OUT Youth Theater model to serve the ongoing needs of LGBTQ and allied youth who use this life-saving program;

2. Expand IT support & enhance current technology infrastructure;

3. Grow our excellent list of donors at every level - our strongest advocates in a challenging environment;

4. Increase our public awareness communications penetrate our service message more deeply into our underserved pockets of our neighborhoods;

5. Build staff capacity by expanding part-time into full-time positions in programs, development, grant writing, communications, and production.

TTO remains Boston’s only organization that uses the arts as a foundation for grassroots activism in support of LGBT people. OUT’hood is a far-reaching, long-term initiative, & currently has no peer nationally in the LGBT community.


CEO Statement

The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood (OUT’hood) is an organizing effort that employs culture and collaboration to make local change with national impact.

In the 80s our friends and lovers are dropping dead from AIDS around us and our government does nothing. Our lives are expendable. Like our neighbors who are being gentrified out of homes in the South End; like the Nicaraguans who our tax dollars are paying the Contras to kill.

A diverse group of gay friends meet up through the Rainbow Coalition to start doing political activism together. We’re sitting-in at the JFK building, arms linked, chanting “Arrest us!” until the police arrest us. Then we chant “Let us go!” ‘til they let us go. The secretaries who work in the building walk past us without a glance. Our lives are at stake and even WE think we’re boring!

So for the next demonstration we grab some wigs and do a little drag sketch about AIDS and Nicaragua. We’re back at a sit-in, putting on a show this time. The secretaries exit for lunch and walk right past us. But then one does a doubletake; she grabs a couple others by the elbow. We’ve captured these women with whom we have nothing in common! After the show they walk over to shoot the bull about our wigs and where’s Nicaragua… and about their gay friend from high school who just died of AIDS. We thought we had nothing in common with the secretaries but we became allies. These women connected with us through cultural organizing.

Two decades later (five years ago, now) TTO was a longtime Resident Theater Company at the Boston Center for the Arts. True Colors OUT Youth Theater Troupe was the premiere LGBT youth activist troupe in the US. When we started out, it was truly rare to see a gay themed play in Boston. 20 years on it had become a common occurrence in the “theater ghetto.”

I’m watching a True Colors improvisation and Ashley, a 16 year old Haitian girl from Mattapan blurts out the line that changes all our lives: “Why should I have to take two trains and a bus just to be who I really am? I want to be out in my own neighborhood.” I thought “The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood!” That’s a company that Boston needs right here, right now. Five years ago my sleepless nights were about how to pay for expensive theater space. Now, I might be up at 3AM confronting issues of racism while we prepare for a collaboration with a business group in Dudley Square. THAT is worth a sleepless night!


Board Chair Statement

In many respects, LGBT people have gained rights in our society. But that doesn’t mean that we are—or feel—safe in all parts of our city, even though our brothers and sisters live in neighborhoods across Boston. The Theater Offensive’s new strategy, OUT In Your Neighborhood, recognizes the ongoing challenges that LGBT people face in gaining real acceptance in the places where they live, even when many of us truly are part of the fabric of places like Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End, and the myriad other neighborhoods in Boston.

TTO’s work is not only about the health and safety of LGBT people. It extends to health of our entire communities, which will be stronger when we recognize the contributions that all of our residents make. This is part of the ongoing struggle to lift up all of the voices in our democracy so that our communities, neighborhoods, and city are the not just safe for all of us, but strong and vibrant because all of us are fully invested in our communities, our neighbors, and our collective health.


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods

Geographically, the majority of our audiences are drawn from Boston. With the advent of OUT’hood, we expect participation from Boston community members to increase, particularly within the target neighborhoods of the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Theater
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Public & Societal Benefit -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

OUT In Your Neighborhood

The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood collaborates with and within four Boston neighborhoods to create and perform extraordinary art about diverse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) experience. The Theater Offensive (TTO) decided in 2010 to devote all of its resources to its OUT in Your Neighborhood (OUT’hood) approach that empowers neighbors to build community equity, vibrancy and safety.

OUT’hood prioritizes Boston’s LGBT and allied People of Color in economically distressed areas. The Theater Offensive (TTO) works in Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End and Jamaica Plain.

Our neighborhoods make up 38% of Boston’s population with 68% People of Color and New England’s largest concentration of LGBT people. The majority of residents face dramatically heightened risk of poverty, illness, suicide, violence and mortality. These neighborhoods were chosen based on two criteria. 1) Surveyed residents sighted a lack of accessible LGBT arts and cultural activities along with desire for our work. 2) Our artistic and activist connections there were solid, since the majority of our staff and Board live in these four neighborhoods.

For four years, OUT’hood has used tightly focused hyper-local performances, workshops and cultural organizing to mobilize OUT and Allied neighbors as advocates for the good of all local residents. We envision every Boston neighborhood enjoying inclusive OUT culture in day-to-day life. The long-term impact we aim for is that the people of Greater Boston become safer and thrive culturally and economically on inclusive OUT participation in every neighborhood. OUT’hood is the overarching umbrella for all of our programming.

 

Budget  $1,194,885.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered Adults At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

• Open dialogue in our OUT’hood neighborhoods

• Participation in OUT'hood activities that reflects the diversity of the neighborhoods in which they’re created

• OUTness is celebrated in more neighborhood happenings and valued by organizers

Program Long-Term Success 

• OUT residents actively participate in efforts that build neighborhood diversity, equity, safety, and vitality.

Program Success Monitored By 

The Theater Offensive employs a comprehensive evaluation model to capture both qualitative and quantitative data from all involved in The Theater Offensive's programs – artists, audiences, community members and local partner organizations and businesses.

Quantitative data focuses on whom we are serving, and through what means and with what frequency they are being reached. Results are used to inform programmatic improvements. Quantitative data is collected by staff at every event held by TTO, including number of participants/audience members, ages, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. All audiences are asked to fill in audience surveys, capturing additional quantitative data such as town/neighborhood of residence. This information is then entered into our database where the data can be crunched and analyzed.

Qualitative data is also collected. Audience surveys and new online social media programs include questions regarding changes in attitudes towards LGBT people, responses to the work being presented in terms of artistic quality, relevance and personal preference/enjoyment. Board, Staff, youth leaders, collaborators, and audiences all play key roles in evaluation through discussion and post-project meetings.

            Methods of data collection include:

·      Audience Surveys

·      Participant Surveys

·      One-on-One Interviews

·      Debrief meetings with organizations in our programmatic neighborhoods (Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and the South End)

Examples of Program Success 

In our previous fiscal year (FY13):

·      7,313 people attended OUT’hood activities

·      92% of people of color attending OUT’hood activities would recommend future participation to peers

·      Worked with 201 artists/creators

·      43 community groups, businesses or agencies collaborated with TTO for OUT’Hood activities (an increase from 19 in FY12)

·      8% of audiences indicated an increase in acceptance of LGBT people after experiencing OUT’hood events

·      Board membership increased to 16; 6 from target neighborhoods; 4 in their 20s.


True Colors: OUT Youth Theater

True Colors: OUT Youth Theater uses a proven community-based theater approach to train and activate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight allied youth leaders. The majority of participants are youth of color from urban neighborhoods ages 14-22. True Colors youth leaders work with The Theater Offensive to develop comprehensive True Colors programming that engages each participant deeply in our mission. 

The heart of this program is the True Colors Troupe, which engages youth of all experience levels in year-round theater training. Each year through the True Colors Troupe, 50 youth work collaboratively to create high-quality original plays and develop workshops about their personal experiences and the experiences of their peers. Most Troupe members are youth of color ages 14-19. True Colors members tour their productions to schools, community centers, and special events in the greater Boston area in order to share their artistry and overcome bigotry.

TTO staff have responded to True Colors program evaluations by youth and community members with a three-year program expansion beyond the original Troupe. True Colors now includes the following components: True Colors Troupe engages youth of all experience levels in year-round theatre training to create, produce and tour original shows to schools, community groups and social service agencies. True Colors Studio offers youth a full range of workshops that build proficiency in theatre-related skills. Within the True Colors Studio, youth of any experience level choose, based on their interests, to participate in any Open Workshop. Also within the Studio, True Colors Troupe alumni are eligible to take part in Advanced Training. True Colors Creative Action Crew is an ensemble of experienced youth leaders who deliver workshops and performances to expand the reach of True Colors. True Colors Leadership and Inclusion Council is a group of peer-elected youth leaders that guides The Theater Offensive on youth-related matters and program development.

Budget  $596,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

Through True Colors, youth—who are at much greater risk than their peers—are gaining the life skills, sense of community and resiliency to succeed. Last season, of True Colors Troupe youth:

·      90% reported that the program helped them build their confidence;

·      93% reported standing up for what they believe in, even when it is unpopular;

·      90% imagine successful options for their future;

·      90% of youth reported that True Colors helped them improve as an artist; and,

·      100% of youth reported they had created work that expresses originality and imagination.

Program Long-Term Success 

True Colors was recently named a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) Finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In recognition of its commitment to strong youth development, True Colors was designated an Innovator of the Year in Youth Development through the Arts by the Social Innovation Forum (SIF). TTO also operates out of its office the North American Pride Youth Theater Alliance, a network of 23 LGBT youth theater groups. True Colors was recently chosen as one of four participant groupss in the prestigious 2013 EmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In addition, True Colors is one of the longest recipients of the Massachusetts Cultural Council YouthReach awards.

Program Success Monitored By 

True Colors evaluates its programming using the acclaimed Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP) toolkit, which True Colors co-created and published with four other local arts organizations.

As part of BYAEP, True Colors has articulated its measurable program outcomes as:

§ I CREATE§ I AM:§ WE CONNECT: 

Within each of these major outcomes, True Colors has created very specific measures. To determine if youth are achieving the objectives, True Colors employs a Student Self-Evaluation Survey, Student Program Evaluation Survey, Teacher Evaluation and Alumni Survey. Staff analyzes the results of these surveys to both to better work with individual students, and to improve the programming overall.

 To measure the impact of the performances, True Colors collects audience surveys and presenter feedback forms (for staff at host touring venues) for every presentation. Again, the staff tracks these results to see the impact of the performances, as well as suggestions for improvements.

 Methods of data collection include:

·      Audience Surveys

·      Participant Self-Evaluations

·      Program Evaluations

·      One-on-One Interviews with True Colors Participants

·      Debrief meetings with Peer Leaders and Teaching Artists

Examples of Program Success 

True Colors is recoginzed by leaders in the field for their service to at-risk youth. For example, every touring season the Department of Children and Families (Massachusetts’ social services) asks our youth to perform for adult caseworkers. A Director in the Department of Children and Families stated, “Youth involved in the program are given the opportunity to be vulnerable, to explore hardships, and then are empowered to turn these experiences into powerful pieces of professionally produced theater.” Every season, caseworkers who are grappling with how to address the needs of LGBT minors eagerly receive True Colors’ performances, and pepper the question and answer session with specifics about the youth they are serving. These sessions evolve the program from simply a terrific theatrical performance into a critical training experience for adults with great power over the lives of youth at risk.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Theater Offensive’s OUT in Your Neighborhood approach marks a profound shift in the national discussion about LGBT equality. We feel that the most important cultural organizing we can do is at the grassroots level, creating local allies and unity across lines of identity. Everyone wants to feel at home in their neighborhood.

In Richard Florida’s seminal book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” he points out that LGBT participation is the most consistent demographic indicator of a city or neighborhood’s potential success at becoming a powerful creative and economic hub. We view this as a responsibility: We need to support OUT participation in our neighborhoods to benefit everyone who lives there. As opposed to gentrification that pushes people out of their neighborhoods and fixes them up. We want to make full use of the indigenous resources in each neighborhood—including their LGBT neighbors—to make it a safer and more thriving place to live for everyone who is already there.

OPPORTUNITY: How can we work with our neighbors in a way that shows respect for their skills and insights at the same time we offer opportunities for expansion?

APPROACH: Workshop/Exchanges are one key part of our approach that is more heavily emphasized in the new strategic plan we began in FY2014. These highly successful encounters bring together our troupes and other local groups in an atmosphere of sharing and mutual respect. Our troupe may lead a few theater games and then present a song from an upcoming show about the migration of Black LGBT people from the South to Northern neighborhoods like Roxbury. The other group may give our troupe a workshop on urban environmentalism and a tour of their garden plot.

The success here is demonstrating to each other that we all care about our neighborhoods and can learn from each other about how to make them better.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Abraham Rybeck
CEO Term Start Nov 1989
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Abe Rybeck is from Wheeling, WV, moved to Boston in 1982, became involved with Mel King’s Rainbow Coalition, then started the gay street theater troupe United Fruit Company in 1985. He and others from that troupe founded The Theater Offensive in 1989. He has received a certificate in Executive Leadership in Non-Profit Arts Management from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the current Board Chair of the National Performance Network and part of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program in Community and Culture. He has received numerous awards for artistry and community leadership including the Jonathan Larson Musical Theater Award for the musical Surviving the Nian; the Bayard Rustin Award for fighting racism and homophobia, the Take a Stand Award from the Boston Women’s Fund; the Individual Excellence Award from the Greater Boston Business Council; and Career Achievement Awards from the Independent Reviewers of New England and the Elliot Norton Theater Awards. Abe’s plays, musicals and performance art pieces have been presented widely. He initiated numerous programs in the filed, including True Colors: OUT Youth Theater, the cabaret band Adult Children of Heterosexuals, the OUT on the Edge Queer Theater Festival; and the guerrilla AIDS education theater troupe A Street Theater Named Desire.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Adrian Budhu Managing Director Adrian is a compassionate and results-driven leader impacting the visibility and performance of non-profit and corporate settings. An immigrant to the US from Guyana, South America, Adrian graduated from Boston University and brings over twelve years of professional experience in Boston. Currently the Managing Director of The Theater Offensive, he oversees all business operations, communication, fundraising and development. His previous work experiences include The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project, XAMOnline.com, Metro Boston Newspaper, John Hancock Financial, and KKLSC Restaurant Group. Adrian’s commitment to diversity within non-profit management has earned him a spot on the American Fundraiser Professionals Diversity Fellowship Program. He volunteers at various non-profit organizations and received numerous awards for his leadership and activism. Adrian lives in the South End of Boston with his one-year old Boston terrier puppy, Jack. He’s an avid runner and completed 12 marathons in 36 months raising over $100K to benefit at-risk and marginalized LGBT youth, people of color, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, and victims of domestic violence.
Ms. Evelyn Francis Director of Programs After graduating with an M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College, Evelyn began working at The Theater Offensive as a teaching artist with True Colors: Out Youth Theater in 2001. In 2006, she became the Director of Education and in 2010 she was promoted to her current position as Director of Programs. As Director of Programs, Evelyn oversees and implements all of The Theater Offensive’s OUT in Your Neighborhood strategy.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
National Arts and Humanitities Youth Program Awards Finalist President's Committee of Arts and Humanitities 2015
Nonprofit Excellence Award - Excellence in Board Governance Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2015
Belynda A. Dunn Award of Recognition to Abe Rybeck AIDS Action Committee 2014
National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Finalist President's Committee of Arts and Humanities 2013
Sylvia Rivera Community Award Hispanic Black Gay Coalition 2012
Distinguished Leadership Award Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth 2010
Outstanding Youth Group Hyde Square Task Force 2010
Valued Ally Award Somos Latinas LGBT Coalition of Massachusetts 2010
True Colors: Social Innovator for Empowering Youth Through the Arts Boston Social Innovation Forum 2008
Jonathan Larson Musical Theatre Award Jonathan Larson 2007
Artist of the Year IN Newsweekly 2006
Best Fringe Theater Improper Bostonian 2004
Gold Star Massachusetts Cultural Council 2004
Youth Service Award Gay Fathers of Greater Boston 2001
Community Service Award James Dawson 2000
Award for Individual Excellence Greater Boston Business Council 1999
Boston Theater Award – Special Citation Elliot Norton 1999
Lavender Alliance Award City of Cambridge 1999
Take a Stand Award Boston Women’s Fund 1999
Unsung Heroes Award AIDS Action Committee 1999
Peace & Justice Award City of Cambridge 1997

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Americans for the Arts --
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member --
Theatre Communications Groups - Constituent Theatre --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Historically, The Theater Offensive (TTO) has been a dynamically mission-driven organization with strong programming. But it has sometimes suffered from fragile finances and underdeveloped infrastructure for development and operations.

Our current Strategic Plan outlined clear program priorities in the focus areas of Creation and Collaboration. It also prioritized Operations, including Finance, Fundraising/Development, and Facilities/Systems.

This Three-Year Strategic Plan has been executed with strong success in all of these areas. Managing Director Adrian Budhu and Finance Manager Molly Girton have put robust systems in place that reduce inefficiencies and increase effectiveness. Our move to the Community Church of Boston in Copley Square reduced out rent substantially while increasing our office space. Our Fundraising and Development efforts have blossomed with multi-year support from individuals, a strong flank of new major donors, and a burgeoning movement of small donors who take part in our OUT in Your Neighborhood activities.

In 2012 the Board approved a three-year Staff Compensation Initiative. This began with research on the market rates for positions in our field. Then came a review of our current compensation packages. We then developed a list of priorities for staff compensation changes based on reducing turnover risk to our organization.

These changes in compensation started with a shift away from hourly pay to putting all Staff on salary with benefits. We have now taken the first of three major annual steps in bringing our Staff salaries in line with market. This effort has generated a surge of positive Staff morale shift that has made our organization a more fun and attractive place to work.

At the same time we have redoubled our commitment to diversity and inclusion on the Staff. A majority of our Staff are people of color, including three of our five top paid employees. Our Staff’s Anti-Racism Working Group of six employees is working with several of our key funders and supporters, such as Third Sector New England and the Boston Foundation to execute a plan that starts with Staff Professional Development.

As our staff size has doubled, we have worked hard to clarify and simplify our Organizational Chart, with no individual directly supervising more than four employees. We hold weekly Staff Directors Meetings and weekly Department Meetings. Our Full Staff Meetings are Monthly.

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 8
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 150
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 75%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Donna Owens
Board Chair Company Affiliation United South End Settlements
Board Chair Term Sept 2015 - Aug 2018
Board Co-Chair Willis Emmons
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Harvard Business School
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2015 - Aug 2018

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Lance Brisbois The Boston Conservatory Voting
Willis Emmons Harvard Business School Voting
Mona Ford Boston Public Schools Voting
Kevin Hepner Roxbury Community College Voting
Cuong Hoang Mott Philanthropic Voting
Richard Juang The Law Office of Richard M. Juang, Esq. Voting
Stephen Kauffman Hill Holiday Voting
Earnest Offley Boston Public Schools Voting
Donna Owens United South End Settlements Voting
Cheryl Schaffer Union of Concerned Scientists Voting
Wesley Thompson Student --
Shakera Walker Boston Public Schools Voting
Kathryn Willmore Retired - MIT VP Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Over the course of the past two years The Theater Offensive Board has doubled in size and grown exponentially in its effectiveness. It has succeeded at hitting a critical mass at which its committees can be more effective. This shift made it wise for the full board to switch from meeting monthly to bi-monthly, while work continued each month within committees. The progress of the committee structure has also helped recruit new Board Members and groom new Board Officer candidates.

The Board now also meets in Executive Session for a period of time at each meeting to increase the independence of its viewpoint and hone its self-management skills.

A majority of our Board Members live in our target neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End and Jamaica Plain. 40% are People of Color. Three are in their 20s and two are experienced youth development professionals. All Board Members make The Theater Offensive a philanthropic priority. In most cases this means donations of at least $1,000 each year. This year, the 15 member Board as a whole made multi-year pledges to TTO totaling over $200,000.

The Theater Offensive's Leadership & Inclusion Council is a youth-led board whose mission is to increase youth leadership and participation at The Theater Offensive and in the community at large. One of its main functions is to train and equip young participants to be ready to join The Theater Offensive's Board of Directors.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,232,800.00
Projected Expense $1,219,253.00
Form 990s

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2015 TTO Audit

2014 TTO Audit

2013 TTO Audit

2012 TTO Audit

2011 TTO Audit

2010 TTO Audit

2009 TTO Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,266,048 $1,095,659 $793,313
Total Expenses $1,115,266 $945,300 $730,517

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$739,404 $747,152 $516,258
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $226,339 $45,426 $53,180
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $99,486 $88,752 $75,534
Investment Income, Net of Losses $50 $40 $26
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $182,174 $205,897 $145,178
Revenue In-Kind $7,500 -- --
Other $11,095 $8,392 $3,137

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $832,130 $735,666 $543,011
Administration Expense $130,147 $93,372 $83,276
Fundraising Expense $152,989 $116,262 $104,230
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.14 1.16 1.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses 75% 78% 74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 13% 12% 15%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $985,341 $827,378 $746,297
Current Assets $752,748 $734,460 $499,353
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $49,482
Current Liabilities $31,461 $24,280 $44,076
Total Net Assets $953,880 $803,098 $652,739

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 23.93 30.25 11.33

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 7%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Theater Offensive’s building of fiscal strength has been steady and on schedule since a major financial setback in 2007 and the subsequent economic downturn of 2008. In 2007, the Organization produced a major world premiere musical, Surviving the Nian, by Melissa Li, a recent True Colors graduate. It gained TTO national acclaim but also was a financial loss.

The board and staff responded with budget cuts and increased efforts in fundraising, successfully achieving surpluses in FY2008, FY2009, FY2011 and FY2012. Despite the challenging environment brought on by the global fiscal crisis, the Organization has dramatically improved its financial standing.

TTO has concentrated on capacity building by strengthening its business and development operations to attract and sustain a higher level of income with longer-term commitments and to address the mission more effectively. It now runs on a rolling three-year budget cycle. The 2012 audit shows a dramatic growth in total net worth. We have now achieved our goal of regaining positive unrestricted net worth by July 1, 2012. 

In March of 2012 TTO received five-year support of $350,000 from The Boston Foundation. In July 2012 the Barr Foundation awarded TTO a three-year commitment of $225,000. This combines with current multi-year support from national funders such as the Ford Foundation, TCG/Duke, Mukti Fund and the Liberty Hill Foundation. Since FY2010, TTO has also received an unprecedented amount of multi-year individual donor pledges, demonstrating important public support in the midst of a tough economy.   With boosted operational efficiency and a tight focus on its mission, The Theater Offensive has dramatically increased its net worth and built a record of steadily strengthening financial sustainability.

TTO is executing an aggressive capitalization campaign that has built operating cash-on-hand to an average of three months operating expenses. It is also executing its plan to build reserves of at least $50,000 each year for risk and recovery needs. As one of only four national organizations honored to be part of the EmcArts Innovation Lab, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, The Theater Offensive is exploring how to build sustainability through dynamic programming, community connection and financial health in it’s local neighborhood work, while it also gains expertise at the international leadership it has assumed as the host organization for the Pride Youth Theater Alliance. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials. 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood collaborates with and within four Boston neighborhoods to create and perform extraordinary art about diverse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) experience. The Theater Offensive (TTO) decided in 2010 to devote all of its resources to its OUT in Your Neighborhood (OUT’hood) approach. All of our programming falls within the OUT’hood umbrella.

Our ultimate goal is that OUT residents actively participate in efforts that build neighborhood diversity, equity, safety, and vitality. We envision a city in which every neighborhood thrives on inclusive OUT culture in day-to-day life. TTO’s current five-year Strategic Plan articulates nine specific strategy-driven goals for OUT’hood. We believe that achieving these goals will be the result of successful OUT In Your Neighborhood programming.

· Profound art by and for neighborhood residents

· Exceptional OUT performances and activities in our neighborhoods

· Deep engagement between TTO and local collaborators, partners, artists, and participants

· Integration of TTO activities into neighborhood cultural activities

· Familiarity with OUT’hood approach among community organizers

· TTO participants taking part in other neighborhood activities

· TTO is a voice for OUTness in national and international dialogue

· Strong organizational governance and management

· Regular operations surplus producing healthy cash reserves

OUT’hood prioritizes Boston’s LGBT and allied People of Color in economically distressed areas. The Theater Offensive (TTO) collaborates with and within four Boston neighborhoods: Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End and Jamaica Plain. These neighborhoods make up 38% of Boston’s population with 68% People of Color and New England’s largest concentration of LGBT people. In FY15, 51% of the audience we served self-reported as People of Color; 76% as LGBT; and 45% as youth (under age 25). The median number of other plays our audience members reported seeing in the previous year was less than one.

TTO’s work is informed by its most deeply held values regarding art, personal freedom, and social justice. We believe that art has the power to transform individuals and communities, that OUTness is a tool for challenging all oppression, that defeating homophobia in our neighborhood also requires defeating racism, and that developing youth leadership helps a suppressed element of our community find its voice and take its rightful place in our movement.

The long-term impact our work aims for is more OUT residents actively participating in efforts that build neighborhood diversity, equity, safety, and vitality. In Richard Florida’s seminal book The Rise of the Creative Class his research reveals that having a strong OUT LGBT community is the greatest demographic indicator of a city’s potential to thrive. We believe that if we measure substantial increases in LGBT participation in our neighborhoods, it will correlate with decreases in measures of economic disparity and crime, as well as increases in measures of demographic diversity and cultural thriving. When those measures are significant it will confirm that we are succeeding at our long-term goal.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

The “gay ghetto” may be over; OUT people now populate every corner of Boston.  But most LGBT people—especially LGBT People of Color—still feel compelled to leave their own neighborhoods to experience OUT culture. At the same time there is definitely still a “theater ghetto” that concentrates performance work in a tiny portion of the city, largely unwelcoming to People of Color.

OUT’hood is based on the concept of OUTness – being honest about one’s sexuality and gender and then choosing to share this with others. OUTness is arguably our community's greatest cultural contribution to society. While the term OUT is rooted in the LGBT movement, the concept of OUTness resonates far beyond it. OUTness is one of the ways in which people’s personal identity can contribute to a movement. Likewise, identifying society’s privilege systems and compelling OUT activists to be more honest about our relationships in those systems can contribute to the dismantling of racism, sexism, classism, and other institutional oppressions.

Now in its fifth year, OUT’hood uses profound art and cultural organizing to mobilize OUT and Allied neighbors as advocates for the good of all local residents.

OUT’hood’s four strategies as outlined in our Strategic Plan are:

1. CREATE: Create OUT theater in our neighborhoods.

2. COLLABORATE: Work with and within our specific neighborhoods.

3. ORGANIZE: Promote OUTness as our organizing principle.

4. SUSTAIN: Build TTO’s capacity to face long-term challenges.

The long-term impact of OUT’hood is that OUT residents actively participate in efforts that build neighborhood diversity, equity, safety, and vitality.

The intended outcomes of our activities, which we believe make progress toward that impact are:

1. Open dialogue in our neighborhoods.

2. Participation in OUT’hood activities that reflects the diversity of the neighborhoods in which they’re created.

3. OUTness celebrated in neighborhood happenings and valued by organizers.

Our four Strategies are embodied in our four categories of Activities:

Collective Creation - TTO artists work with neighborhood residents (youth and adults alike) to create original performances based on their personal experiences and point of view. They showcase these creations to their peers with formal and informal feedback sessions.

Workshop Exchanges – TTO’s Creative Action Crew offers OUT’hood performances and workshops for community-based organizations and schools and, in turn, receive reciprocal workshops from the community. (e.g. TTO's Creative Action Crew leads a theater training for youth at Hyde Square Task Force, who then lead TTO in a workshop on organizing against neighborhood foreclosures

Cultural Events – Each of our neighborhoods is rich with its own regular or ongoing local and ethnic events. TTO collaborates with groups in the neighborhood to help create culturally competent OUT presence in those festivals, community occasions, and moments that need recognition. (e.g. dBar's musical theater night, Betances Festival Boriqua)

Neighborhood Production – TTO collaborates with local and national artists to present a fully staged production at a location within OUT’hood neighborhoods.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

TTO is led by founding Artistic Director Abe Rybeck. He is a playwright and performing artist who also serves as the Board Chair of the National Performance Network. Director of Programs Evelyn Francis started out as the True Colors Director in 2001 and serves as founding Co-chair of the North American Pride Youth Theater Alliance. Managing Director Adrian Budhu is newer to theater, coming to us three years ago from the violence prevention field. The majority of TTO’s staff is People of Color, as are the majority of the artists we work with. Most of our staff is under the age of 30.

TTO has several significant opportunities and internal strengths that will help the organization address them:

· The growing prevalence of OUTness: LGBT individuals live OUT lives in every corner of greater Boston and would benefit greatly from the creation of safe cultural space for full and free expression.

· The increasing public desire to participate in art: YouTube, Flash Mobs, and American Idol are all examples of a growing public expectation that art is participatory and interactive. The prospect of sitting in a theater as a passive audience member is becoming less and less attractive to the general populace.

· The correlation between LGBT participation and neighborhood potential to thrive: In his landmark book The Rise of the Creative Class, economist Richard Florida studied vibrant communities around the country to understand what led to their success. He looked at the nation’s most thriving cities and neighborhoods. Interestingly, he found no demographic similarities across the board based on race, age, or class, but he did find that OUT LGBT participation in communities consistently contributed to creative vibrancy and economic potential. We believe this means the LGBT community has a responsibility to contribute to the neighborhoods where we live, not to abandon them for a media-endorsed “gay mecca” to spend our time, energy and money.

· TTO’s specialization in OUT performance: We started as an LGBT street troupe confronting life and death issues of AIDS, violence and homelessness in traumatized neighborhoods. We have sustained that work and our passion for social justice to this day. Even now, no other LGBT arts organization in the nation has taken on a social change agenda on a neighborhood level.

· The potential of grassroots arts organizing to build thriving neighborhoods is important to our supporters: Intrigued by our new Strategic Vision, a growing number of TTO’s community donors have been making multi-year pledges to show their support for OUT in Your Neighborhood. This approach has also received major multi-year grants from the Ford Foundation, The Boston Foundation, the Barr Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation, the Mukti Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Theatre Communications Group.

· Feedback from our audiences has been very positive and helpful, as has been the feedback from partner local businesses, neighborhood organizations, schools and community groups. We have heard great expressions of pleasure about the clarity of what we seek from our relationships with artists.

· TTO’s programs are fortified by financial and operational management that is strong, responsible and innovative. The Theater Offensive’s programs have been fortified by growing financial strength. Despite the challenging environment brought on by the global fiscal crisis, TTO has dramatically improved its financial standing, building a strong balance sheet that includes cash reserves. Our FY2014 audit shows an organization aggressively building appropriate capitalization from surplus on operations at the same time it sharpens and refines its focus on its mission.

 


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The Theater Offensive employs a comprehensive evaluation rubric to capture both qualitative and quantitative data from all involved in The Theater Offensive's programs – artists, audiences, community members and local partner organizations and businesses.

Quantitative data focuses on whom we are serving, and through what means and with what frequency they are being reached. Results are used to inform programmatic improvements. Quantitative data is collected by staff at every event held by TTO, including number of participants/audience members, ages, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. All audiences are asked to fill in audience surveys, capturing additional quantitative data such as town/neighborhood of residence. This information is then entered into our database where the data can be crunched and analyzed.

Qualitative data is also collected. Audience surveys and new online social media programs include questions regarding changes in attitudes towards LGBT people, responses to the work being presented in terms of artistic quality, relevance and personal preference/enjoyment. Board, Staff, Leadership & Inclusion Council, collaborators, and audiences all play key roles in evaluation through discussion and post-project meetings.

Key indicators follow the four areas of our four Strategic areas:

1) CREATE:

Indicators:

· Increase community participation in LGBT activities and events, especially among target neighborhood residents, people of color, and LGBT people

· Quality of participation and cultural competence of OUT’hood activities

· 10 youth specific indicators in artistic skills, personal development & community connection

Example Benchmarks:

· Build total number of people, including people of color and LGBT people from the target neighborhoods, who attend OUT’hood activities to at least 8,000 (as measured by ticket and registration as well as head counts).

· 97% of People of Color attending OUT’hood activities would recommend future participation to peers (as reported via OUT’hood surveys)

· ALL: 40 presentations in 4 target neighborhoods in FY16

· TC: Tour 30 venues in FY16

· ALL: Work with 600 artists/creators in FY16

2) COLLABORATE

Indicator:

· Number of collaborations between LGBT groups and other community groups/businesses in target neighborhoods

· Number of residents who consider themselves straight allies of the LGBT community who participate in OUT’hood activities in target neighborhoods

Example Benchmarks:

· Increase 50 to 55 community groups, businesses or agencies that collaborate with us (as measured by OUT’hood collaborator contracts & reports)

· 10% of attendees to report an increase in acceptance of LGBT people after experiencing OUT’hood events (as measured by attendee and participant surveys)

· In FY16, 80% of audience members agree that they better understand LGBT issues and will make supportive choices in the future

3) ORGANIZE

Indicators:

· Produce body of work articulating OUT’hood approach

· Exchange OUT’hood principle with other organizers through workshops

Example Benchmarks:

· 10 workshop exchanges in FY16

4) SUSTAIN

Indicators:

· Increase total number of Directors on the Board, including addition of youth and youth workers as well as additional residents of target neighborhoods

· Reduce debt and build cash reserve

Example Benchmarks:

· 15 members; 8 members from target neighborhoods; 6 members of color; 5 members under 30 years old

As of 6/30/15, maintain positive unrestricted net worth and cash reserves of $120,000 or 10% of expenses.

All OUT’hood activities fall into four categories. Our Theory of Change recognizes how all four categories work together to achieve our short-term outcomes and long-term impact. Opportunities to receive quantitative and qualitative feedback are present in all OUT’hood activities.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

 

1. CREATE: Create OUT theater in our neighborhoods.

True Colors: OUT Youth Theater is a prime example of this focus. Last year 50 youth participants created and performed an original production on the theme of “Roots”. Youth involved in the program are given the opportunity to be vulnerable, to explore hardships, and then are empowered to turn these experiences into powerful pieces of professionally produced theater.” Caseworkers who are grappling with how to address the needs of LGBT minors eagerly receive True Colors’ performances. These sessions evolve the program from simply a theatrical performance into a valuable learning experience.

In this area, we have discovered that both youth and adults can experience a theater creation experience as a “rehearsal” for community action. Participants report a heightened level of agency after taking part in this work. Interestingly, these projects have been extremely successful at cementing bonds with our collaborators as well. The challenge we still face in this area is reaching larger number of neighborhood residents.

2. COLLABORATE: Work with and within our specific neighborhoods.

One example of success in collaboration is evident in our most recent Neighborhood Production - River See. In this production we collaborated deeply with Pilgrim Church, a historic building and spiritual site in Dorchester. Community activities all brought community members and audience members together during the months leading up to the showcase. Then in November we had 75% of the show sold out. Members from the church community came to see the show, and even a few audience members joined the church for services during the weekend.

Our biggest remaining challenge in this area is how to scale the work. We have found that adding larger numbers of collaborators challenges our capacity and sometimes reduces the depth of the collaborations. In response, for the time being, we are more carefully prioritizing our collaborations and not setting expectations as high for the number of collaborators. 

3. ORGANIZE: Promote OUTness as our organizing principle.

An excellent current example of this work is the connection our fall 2013 production of Jomama Jones * RADIATE is making with organizers in Roxbury and Dorchester on issues of food justice and voting rights. Both of these issues play out in subtle (and not so subtle) ways through the show. We are starting to build partnerships with groups such as Oiste and REEP that can channel attendees at our shows into the grassroots organizing campaigns of those organizations.  

This is the most recently articulated aspect of our Strategic Plan, put into place in June 2013. We are currently evaluating success in this area.

4. SUSTAIN: Build TTO’s capacity to face long-term challenges.

TTO takes pride in its recent financial accomplishments and current health. TTO has concentrated on capacity building by strengthening its business and development operations to attract a higher level of income with longer‐term commitments. Since FY2010 and the launch of OUT In Your Neighborhood, TTO has also received an unprecedented amount of multi-year individual donor pledges, demonstrating important public support in the midst of a tough economy. A great deal of our success in fundraising is at the grassroots level. It is also executing its plan to build reserves of at least $50,000 each year for operating, risk and recovery needs. 

Our largest remaining set of challenges in this area of our work is the tough task of building long-term support. While we’ve made tremendous strides toward that in recent years, these challenges are cyclical. We need to make sure that our current success is actually a trajectory, not just an up-cycle. We have responded to this challenge by increasing our budgeting and planning horizons from 12-month cycles just a few years ago to our current 36-month rolling budget and planning cycle that we execute now.