Mission & Values
Partake Arts is a nimble, responsive arts administration consultancy that guides artists and organizations through challenge, change, and opportunity. Together with our clients, we envision, create, and build the future of the performing arts.
Partake Arts partners with artists, artist-led projects, and organizations to create effective, impactful administrative systems so you can focus on what matters: your art and your communities. Artists and administrators who engage Partake Arts create healthy, fulfilling careers and foster resilient, responsive arts organizations.
Partake Arts and the awesome humans we work with value curiosity, collaborative practice, and lifelong learning. Collectively, we envision a performing arts ecology that pays artists for their time and labor, challenges the extractive and abusive models that have so long defined the performing arts, and honors the possibilities that arise when we choose to work in respectful collaboration with one another. We know it will be hard and beautiful work to (re)make the field, and we want to do that work shoulder to shoulder with amazing people who have a sense of humor and who have read and appreciated the thesis of Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love, a great book about why it’s okay to love Celine Dion.
We love live performance, site-specific work, experimental work, dance, theater, dance theatre, performance art, time-based work, interventions, mixed media, storytelling–if you say it’s performance, Partake Arts will help you make it, come see it, celebrate it, and support it.
We believe in and practice:
Abundance: Imagine we have everything we need, and we are enough.
Curiosity: Let go of assumptions, and be open to new possibilities.
Empathy: Consider others, and recognize your own value.
Integrity: Hold yourself and collaborators accountable to shared, clearly articulated values.
Collaboration: Imagine a world where we are always stronger together, and where what we make in collaboration is greater than the sum of its parts.
About Ann Marie
Partake Arts is owned and operated by Ann Marie Lonsdale (she/her), an arts worker with a background as a producer and administrator working in innovative and experimental live performance. She began her career as a performer, stage manager, and producer in theater and dance in Chicago and New York, with such companies as The Hypocrites, the Vittum Theater (now Adventure Stage Chicago), the side project, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Sitelines festival. As an administrator, she worked as Program Manager for the Creative Capital Professional Development Program, as General Manager at the Center for Performance Research, as Director of Programs and Deputy Director of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, and as Executive Director of Cave Canem Foundation. Ann Marie is also one of the co-creators of the Freelance Artist Resource Project, an iterative rapid response comprising webcasts, a website, and other online tools for learning and community building created in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020. She has also worked in the performing arts community as an educator, consultant, grant panelist, speaker, and facilitator with TCG, Network of Ensemble Theatres, Theatre Bay Area, LMCC, among others. She has done training with artEquity, and is actively engaged in a national community of practice around anti-racism in the theatre and arts. Ann Marie is a proud graduate of the University of Chicago and holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
I have learned that this work is deeply personal, so here I am going to speak from the “I.” This work is in draft, and will always be evolving. The work of ending racism will be the work of a lifetime. I am so grateful for the learning afforded to me by my many teachers in this space, most centrally womxn of color, and especially the work of Carmen Morgan and artEquity, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Nicole Brewer. My analysis builds on my training and education in labor organizing, justice work, and anti-racism organizing that have been gifted to me since I was a young person in the San Francisco Bay Area. I work to continually earn the trust of clients and collaborators by showing up with honesty about the privileges I inhabit in my body and my social location, and by operating with integrity in my working relationships. I work across colonial borders—with particular respect and care for the Indigenous caretakers of the lands of the Lenape and Canarsie people of Brooklyn, New York, where I currently live, and the Ohlone people of my native Oakland, California. I also acknowledge the continual harm created by the legacy of forced enslavement of Black African people in the United States, manifesting itself through mass incarceration, anti-Black violence, employment discrimination, and systemic racism.
Using a framework based on principles offered by colleagues at Coming to the Table, I offer an anti-oppression analysis based in the following principles:
- Acknowledge Our History and Social Context: It is critical to place anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism at the center of the United States’ history of violent oppression through colonialism and forced enslavement, the legacies of patriarchy and misogyny, and to acknowledge the harm and erasure perpetuated towards trans folx, LGBTQIAA+ people, disabled people, immigrants and undocumented people, and many others who have experiences oppression and violence throughout our social and cultural histories. It is also critical to recgnize how white, settler, able-bodied, cis and straight people benefit from these systems and this history. We must acknowledge these truths as part of an active, caring analysis of how racism operates interpersonally and institutionally in our culture and specifically in philanthropy, nonprofits, and in cultural work.
- Recognize, challenge, and actively dismantle current systems that create harm: We must recognize how oppressive systems have informed theatre and dance training and aesthetic practice, philanthropy, capitalism, and all the systems that operate to support and perpetuate systems of white and hetero-patriarchal supremacy, in particular. We have to ask why these systems are allowed to persist. We must individually and collectively hold each other accountable for practices that cause harm, intentionally and unintentionally, and create spaces for learning and growth around how our systems support people who already enjoy power and privilege, and actively harm and disinclude people with less privilege. Our responsibility as good citizens of theatre, dance, and performance is to refuse to accept the current state of our field, and to work on a daily basis to transform it.
- Offer Frameworks for Repair: We must build the house we want to live in, together. This includes advocating for land acknowledgements, recognizing and acknowledging trauma, demanding fair wages for artists and nonprofit workers, implementing collaborative decision-making processes and consensus-based shared leadership models, generating authentic community engagement, centering historically marginalized artists and art practices, and addressing personal bias to build inclusive work cultures and generative partnership between artists and institutions. This is not a comprehensive list.
Don’t do this work alone! That’s it.