BOND STREET THEATRE COALITION LTD

Peacebuilding, empowerment & healing through theatre

aka Bond Street Theatre   |   New York City, NY   |  www.bondst.org

Mission

Bond Street Theatre Coalition, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, initiates creative arts programming that inspires and educates youth, addresses international human rights issues, heals communities affected by poverty and conflict, and promotes the value of the arts in peacebuilding. The company responds to humanitarian crises through the uplifting power of the arts, and has initiated innovative theatre-based programs in over 40 countries, reaching populations in refugee camps, schools, shelters, prisons, rural villages and urban centers. The company collaborates with local artists and organizations worldwide, to enjoy the benefits of exchange, to learn, share, explore commonalities and differences, and to promote mutual understanding and encourage a peaceful global future.

Notes from the nonprofit

The company initiated a Strategic Planning process in October 2017, and anticipates completion in 2019.

Ruling year info

1984

Artistic Director

Ms. Joanna Marie Sherman

Managing Director

Mr. Michael Joseph McGuigan

Main address

2 Bond Street

New York City, NY 10012 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3036753

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

1. In areas of ongoing conflict, insurgency, or post-war rehabilitation, there is a need for programs for youth that are dynamic, engaging and offer positive alternatives to extremism and violence, and provide opportunities for leadership, community engagement and dialogue. 2. In areas where international human rights standards are misinterpreted, misunderstood or ignored, communities need to be educated through effective and engaging methods that succeed in addressing the needs of marginalized populations. Complex key rights concepts must be translated to meet diverse cultural contexts, and organized to promote positive dialogue between people and groups. 3. Training programs, capacity-building programs for local social justice organizations, and programs that amplify the voices of women, youth and others whose voices are often unheard, are needed to promote conflict resolution, social cohesion and healing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Provincial Youth Leader Mobilization for Peace and Justice in Afghanistan

In 2017, BST initiated a youth-led project in eight provinces across Afghanistan designed to engage communities about legal rights and access to justice. The US Institute of Peace-funded project used interactive performances and workshops to promote government law in communities that rely heavily on traditional councils and other non-state-sanctioned mechanisms for delivering justice. Shows were held in schools, community centers, mosques, and other locations to reach a wide range of audiences. In addition, BST’s Provincial Youth Leader teams met with key government figures and religious leaders to improve awareness about corruption, transparency and accountability, and engaged local police, justice officials, students and the community at large in the project. To date, the project has reached over 150,000 Afghans, had measurable impact on local community knowledge of justice systems, and continues to reach new populations. Through the program, 75% of the youth participants gained employment.

Population(s) Served

The Arts Exchange was designed to promote creative cross-border dialogue between professional theatre artists from the three countries -- the USA, India and Afghanistan. The three-year project produced two major, collaboratively created theatre productions, two tours in the USA, and a fruitful exchange of theatre-based training methods aimed at advancing underserved populations in India and Afghanistan through creative expression and civic dialogue.
The project goals were: to create a model arts partnership through peer-to-peer exchange, to introduce effective problem-solving and communication skills to underserved children and adults, to introduce effective theatre-based teaching methods to educators and trainers, to dispel misunderstandings about Afghan culture in the US and India through performances, lectures, media coverage, and post-performance talk-backs, and to promote a positive image of the US in Afghanistan and India.
Outcomes: The three-year project reached 50,000 people plus the wide reaches of the media in three countries; the team projected an inherent message of "peace and mutual understanding through collaboration" in all of it creative activities; and the partnership strengthened the entrepreneurial and organizational capacity of all three organizations with an immediate multiplication of activities.

Population(s) Served

Funded by the US Institute of Peace, Bond Street Theatre's 2-year project built the capacity of Afghan theatre companies to bring crucial information about voting rights through informational theatre to audiences in rural areas and urban centers.
BST trained theatre groups in Herat, Kabul, Jalalabad, and Kandahar, and created four all-female companies to insure that women who are isolated by location or tradition had access to information regarding their right to vote. All-male teams provided similar information for men.
A previous Theatre for Social Development program developed by BST for Afghanistan provided training in new theatre methods and business training to insure sustainability, as well as offering effective theatre-based practices to address conflict prevention, reconciliation skills, and innovative approaches to peacebuilding.
The Voter Education project reached more than 200,000 people and improved voter turnout substantially, and especially among women.

Population(s) Served

Bond Street Theatre has worked in Myanmar (Burma) since 2009, partnering with Thukhuma Khayeethe (Art Travelers) and Gitameit Music School to revitalize modern theatre in the country, which was heavily censored under the military regime. Our programs aimed to help revitalize theatre as a tool to address human rights, post-crisis healing, community education, social improvement, and improved life skills for children and youth. 
The company's first collaboration promoted good hygiene among children in rural villages along the Thai border and monastery schools that housed children orphaned by hurricane Nargis.   Funded by the Open Society, other projects addressed interethnic tensions in the country, which have increased with the new openness to the outside world, and promoted peaceful coexistance. Currently, BST and TK devised a Burmese, mobile theatre version of Ben Jonson's play, "Volpone", about status and greed, and presented the play in neighborhoods and squatter settlements. All projects introduce new methods of self-expression among participants, and provides direct training for local artists in educational theatre and theatre as a tool to address human rights, post-crisis healing, community education, social improvement, and improved life skills for children and youth.

Population(s) Served

Bond Street Theatre partnered with FAVILEK (Women Victims Get Up, Stand Up), a Haitian women's group who are all survivors of violence, for the Haiti Project.  The company traveled to Port-au-Prince in 2011 to perform in the tent camps, and train the women of FAVILEK to create a new performance about the 2010 earthquake and its tragic aftermath.  In 2012, the BST Haiti Team returned to Haiti to finish the show, and to assist FAVILEK to tour the piece about gender violence and instability to the tent camps.  Goals of the project are: 1) To continue theatre training for the women of FAVILEK, building on our initial program in 2011, to empower FAVILEK to effectively use theatre as a means to inform and educate the public about the situation of violence facing women and girls; 2. To assist FAVILEK in creating an effective and powerful theatre performance thatreflects the Haitian experience and proposes solutions and positive actions to address the issue of gender violence; 3. To connect FAVILEK with local associations and non-governmental organizations to facilitate future partnerships, building the sustainability of FAVILEK and ensuring more opportunities to present the new performance, and; 4. To provide theatre-based workshops to children and adults in the community for psychosocial relief of the stress of violence and displacement, as well as provide opportunities of training to a new generation of Haitian theatre practitioners.
The company looks forward to continuing our partnerships in Haiti and to engage Haitian men as allies in the community.

Population(s) Served

The Youth Leadership project trained 400+ youth in 25 provinces in Afghanistan to design and implement their own volunteer community improvement projects, brought youth together across ethnic, regional and social divides for collaboration and sustained cooperative activities, and introduced the concept of positive engagement and voluntarism as a desirable alternate to extremist activities.

Population(s) Served

BST began collaborating with arts and advocacy organizations in Malaysia in 2017. Working with Asylum Access, a legal aid organization for refugees, BST and partner group Masakini Theatre translated critical information regarding healthcare, education and legal rights into illustrative plays to replace Asylum Access's “Know Your Options” PowerPoint lectures. This approach was highly effective for refugee communities, especially those with limited literacy such as the Rohingyas and Somalis, as well as Afghan, Iranian, Syrian, and other refugees in Kuala Lumpur. BST also trained Asylum Access staff in theatre skills to ensure program continuation. The program resulted in the formation of the first Rohingya Women’s Theatre, through RWDN, and continues to disseminate information in their community. Our goals are 1) to build the capacity of refugees in Kuala Lumpur to create and perform plays on topics of their own design, through workshops in self-expression and play writing, as well as leadership and program management, with a focus on female refugees, and 2) to reach citizens of Malaysia with performances on refugee issues, catalyzing greater understanding and acceptance of refugees, and forging links between refugee and host communities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

MacArthur Award 1990

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

First Prize for Performance 2002

City of Meppel, Netherlands

Best of Festival 2007

Kim Tom Festival, Shainghai, China

Public Service Award 2018

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Affiliations & memberships

Theatre Communications Groups - Constituent Theatre 2006

Alliance of Resident Theatre / New York 1984

New York Non-Profit Coordinating Committee 1995

Network of Ensemble Theatres 2008

United Nations Registered NGO, Dept. of Public Information 2003

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Bond Street Theatre fosters peace in areas of conflict and post-war rehabilitation by providing opportunities for community engagement and dialogue, and through programs for youth that offer positive alternatives to extremism and violence. We address and clarify international human rights issues by educating communities and amplifying the voices of marginalized populations. We translate complex key rights concepts into diverse cultural contexts, and spark dialogue between people and groups through educational, engaging and interactive creative programming. We promote conflict resolution and social cohesion in areas of conflict through training programs, capacity-building programs for local social justice organizations, and by amplifying the voices of women, youth and others whose voices are often unheard in situations of conflict.

Worldwide, theatre is recognized as an effective means to disseminate practical information, especially in illiterate or isolated communities, about essential issues such as health, family, and civic rights.
Theatre-based programming develops leadership and communication skills, improves learning abilities, encourages self-expression, boosts self-confidence, fosters teamwork, and stimulates creative thinking and problem solving.
Theatre amplifies the voices of marginalized populations, and provides a safe environment and the creative tools to explore and address critical problems.
Participatory arts activities are highly effective in catalyzing dialogue and resolution around sensitive issues. Solutions devised by participants themselves in role play and other activities are more apt to be adopted and gain traction.
Experiential training -- workshops that apply training directly to real-world projects -- improves outcomes, as opposed to purely theoretical approaches.

In its 40+ years of creative work in more than 40 countries, BSTC has found success through its relationships with local partners. The company’s award-winning projects addressing conflict mitigation, access to justice, women’s and civic rights have influenced communities in Myanmar (since 2009), Afghanistan (since 2003), Malaysia, India, South and East Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Middle East, Haiti and Guatemala. The company’s Training Manual on Theatre for Social Development, funded in part by USIP and US Embassy in Kabul, has been used by hundreds of artists and educators around the world to teach conflict resolution and community-building through the arts. BSTC has a full-time staff in New York and Kabul, and maintains a roster of 20-25 teaching artists. Funders include US Embassies in 14 countries, government bureaus, foundations and individuals. BSTC received a MacArthur Award for its innovative programming, and is an NGO in association with the UN.

AFGHANISTAN: Since 2003, BST has trained 400+ youth in 25 provinces to implement community improvement projects, with 75% of the youth gaining employment through the program. Our program on rule of law and access to justice reached over 150,000 Afghans. BST formed and trained four all-women's theatre companies that reach women who are isolated by location, tradition or incarceration, including women's prisons in four provinces.
MYANMAR: BST has accomplished programs on hygiene for children in jungle areas on the conflicted border zones, inter-ethnic programs for youth on mutual understanding and trust, and socio-political performances that deal with corruption, cronyism and personal responsibility.
REFUGEES: Programs for Kosovar refugees in Macedonia and Bosnia, Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Rohingya refugees in Malaysai, Syrian refugees in Turkey, IDPs in Haiti, India, Afghanistan, Colombia, Ghana, and refugees in Kenya.
NEXT: Women's rights globally and creating male allies.

Financials

BOND STREET THEATRE COALITION LTD
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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BOND STREET THEATRE COALITION LTD

Board of directors
as of 10/9/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Nadia Gomes

Open Society Foundations

Term: 2016 -


Board co-chair

Mr. Ethan Frisch

Burlap & Barrell Spice Imports

Term: 2015 -

Joanna Sherman

Bond Street Theatre

Ethel Barber

Clinical Psychologist

Scott Kamen

Kamen-Tall Architects

Alice Leopold

Janney Montgomery Scott LLD

Heather Balke

Systematic Risk Averse Funds

Ethan Frisch

Burlap and Barrel Spice Imports

Nadia Gomes

Open Society Foundations

Donna Butcher-Thorpe

ABC-TV News

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes