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Since FTC’s founding, we have been deeply invested in being an Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable, and Accessible company (IDEA).

Anti-Racism Work

Since FTC’s founding, we have been deeply invested in being an Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable, and Accessible company (IDEA). We have expanded that work to become actively Anti-Racist.

Community Partnerships

We are proud to partner with the community to bring exciting, engaging, and challenging theater experiences to an ever increasing audience.

Adopt a School project

We are proud to support the La Follette High School drama program with audition workshops, professional mentoring in stage management and design, marketing assistance, and so much more!


Forward Theater strives to make its performances available to all members of the community.

Visit our accessibility page >

Highlights from FTC’s IDEA/Anti-racism Plan

The plan below is a living document. It will be continually reexamined and adjusted, as being an inclusive and anti-racist company is a life-long effort, not a box to be checked off. We share our plan publicly because we know this work is as important to our community as it is to us. And we know this plan will be better and more successful if you help us to make it so. So we invite (and encourage!) you to share your feedback and ideas with us at any time.


  • Continue to seek out opportunities to support, mentor, and nurture diverse artists and arts groups in our region, investing resources as needed to do so.
  • Invest in building the cultural competency of our talkback leaders.
  • Invest advertising dollars with local media outlets focused on diverse populations.
  • Continue our existing practice of transparent hiring processes, including clear communication of salary ranges.
  • The Finance Committee will continue to conduct an annual audit of FTC’s vendors to encourage investment in diverse businesses.
  • Maintain the presence of a specific line item in our budget for IDEA/anti-racism work.
  • Expand our current use of Land Acknowledgements.
  • Include language in all job postings that past participation in anti-racism training is a plus.
  • Look for opportunities to expand our audience’s understanding of different cultural traditions for audience response.
  • Continue our practice of offering compensation to all artists who assist with development efforts.
  • Continue our commitment to investing our financial reserves in Socially Conscious funds.
  • Continue our ongoing efforts to diversify membership of our Board, AC and staff.
  • Continue our 360-degree annual reviews of executive leadership.
  • Create a succinct document (contract rider) for all freelance artists and crew that outlines our anti-racism and EDI policies, as well as protected pathways to report issues. (This has been in place since 2021.)
  • Develop relationships with the technical theater training programs in the Milwaukee area to nurture emerging diverse theater technicians and designers.
  • Have a line item for cultural consultants in each production’s budget worksheet. This prompts an evaluation of any specific needs for each play.
  • Reach out to local journalism schools and publications, offering to partner with them on training programs for diverse critics.
  • Share FTC’s annual operating budget on our website and in our playbills (budgets are the most explicit statement of an organization’s values).
  • Learning opportunities in IDEA and anti-racism are incorporated as a major component of each year’s full-day retreat with our staff, Board, and AC members.
  • Assessment of accessibility offerings at other arts organizations, and implementation of new options (ASL interpretation, large-print programs, etc.) to support patrons with different access needs.
  • Work with Overture Center and the other resident companies to develop intervention and disruption protocols for harmful audience interactions.
  • Work with Overture Center and the other resident companies to research and develop changes that can be made to make lobbies and other theater spaces more welcoming to diverse communities.
  • Work with Overture Center to increase accessibility options in the Playhouse.


  • Create plan for increased staff capacity to focus on community engagement.
  • Expand our La Follette High School partnership within LHS and to other schools.