WINGSPACE IS AN ORGANIZATION OF THEATER ARTISTS THAT FOSTERS CONVERSATIONS ON DESIGN, STRENGTHENS OUR COMMUNITY, AND FURTHERS ACTIVISM IN THE FIELD.
With a membership composed of designers, directors, and dramaturgs, Wingspace looks at the theater landscape from a design point of view. We are interested in demystifying and highlighting design through conversation, advocacy, and community-building. By sponsoring public events and workshops focused on the theory and practice of theatrical design, fostering early career designers in our Professional Mentorship Program, and staging events for the design community as whole, Wingspace creates opportunities for theater makers passionate about design to come together, learn from one another, and grow together as a community.
Wingspace is built around a community of committed members. The organization was started in 2005 when a group of MFA graduates missed the studio culture of academia, and created a similar structure for themselves in the professional world, in a shared Brooklyn studio. Wingspace has since grown to a membership of fifty, concentrated in New York, but with members scattered across the United States. Inside a freelance culture that can sometimes feel isolating, Wingspace membership offers support, connection, and a larger purpose. Our Salon Series features free, public events each month that dig deeper into issues theater makers face, including the practical and artistic issues of our craft as well as social issues within the industry. No longer a studio-based group of designers, we have become a community outreach organization. We believe that in reaching outward we create a group more dynamic and beneficial than a concentrated core.
Wingspace is committed to the cause of equity in the field. There are significant barriers to accessing a career in theatrical design and we see inequalities of race, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability across the field. As an organization and as individuals, we are asking ourselves hard questions about how to expand our work to reach people outside the traditional theatrical establishment. Our Professional Mentorship Program seeks out early career designers and directors, focusing on those who are often denied access to traditional theater power structures, including women, persons of color, LGBTQ+ people and individuals with disabilities. In this program, Wingspace members provide insight, professional training, resources, and connections that help these young artists attain their professional goals. Wingspace members are active in United Scenic Artists 829, the union for theatrical designers. Our members have worked closely with the Union on issues such as contract agreements, diversity, and education. On a larger scale, Wingspace and its members are committed to breaking down barriers in pursuit of a more diverse and equitable community.