February 12 - 17, 2025

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" THIS SEAT IS TAKEN " The Absence of Black Leadership Roles in Performing Arts Institutions

Co-presented by

The disparity in the percentage of leadership roles in performing arts institutions held by Black people in comparison to White people is immense. Because of this, opportunities for their having careers as Performing Arts Professionals are scarce.

To level, the playing field equity and inclusion must be considered essential to every organizational strategy and practice. For that to happen, Black people must be at the center of each institution’s transformation. The situation will not improve if recruitment and hiring practices to include more candidates of colour, along with an increase in the racial and ethnic diversity of our governing boards, does not occur.

We will discuss what can be done to eradicate the structural barriers and biases towards Black people within performing arts institutions that contribute to maintaining the glass ceiling.


Stephane Moraille: Award-winning International Recording Artist and Attorney

As an award winning vocalist and international recording artist, Stephane completed a masters in Intellectual Property law from York University’s renowned Osgoode Hall Law School. Thus altering the famous saying as follows: Jack of all trades, Master at Law. An exceptionally skilled communicator, with a professionally honed and hands on knowledge of the entertainment industry, her practice covers music, film and technology.  She cumulates 12 years in governance experience and sits on the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec Board of Directors and is Director of Legal and commercial affairs at Phi. 

span style="font-weight: 400;">As a founding member of the Bran Van 3000 collectiveShe is the recipient of a Félix, Juno, Much Music Video Award, SOCAN prize, Canadian Radio Award and a Polaris Slaigth Heritage award nomination.Stephane was a candidate for the NDP, has been a trailblazer on many fronts and believes in a diverse, creative and progressive world.


Elisabeth (Dori ) Tunstall: Design Anthropologist, Academic Leader, Writer, and Educator 
Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. As Dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, she is the first black and black female dean of a faculty of design. She leads the Cultures-Based Innovation Initiative focused on using old ways of knowing to drive innovation processes that directly benefit communities. 

Chanel Ward: Assistant Dean of Diversity, NYU TISCH School of the Arts
Chanel Ward is a higher education administrator and consultant. Named a “Diversity Champion” (December 2016), by the Fairfield and Westchester Business Journal, Chanel has a clear passion and commitment to guide both public and private institutions to greater systems of equity

James Oscar:  Art Critic, Curator and Researcher 
James is presently a researcher in the sociology of art at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. His work explores how the complexities of identities and social and affective forms are disseminated in visual, literary, and performative arts. He studied closely under the poet Édouard Glissant. He was a curatorial consultant for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts “From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present”. As a regular public lecturer at museum, art, and academic institutions, his latest conferences include Diaspora: Relations (Phi Foundation:August 2020), “(Black) Bodies as Surfaces in the Urban Context?”

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