In honor of Black History Month, Professor Donna Walker-Kuhne, who has worked on 20 Broadway shows, was recently interviewed in two publications to discuss her work in audience development.
In Black Enterprise, a business magazine for the African American community, Walker-Kuhne and her business partner Cherine Anderson spoke about their former company, Impact Broadway, whose goal it was to diversify theatre audiences on Broadway.
Walker-Kuhne and Anderson were also interviewed by Electronic Urban Report to speak about the importance of bringing black audiences to Broadway. "It’s important to see our stories, to hear our stories, and to be able to experience what it’s like to see the magic of a live performance, even if it’s not about African Americans," Walker-Kuhne told EUR.
She went on, "If we don’t go to the theater, then we risk not having our stories told, and we lose our history and our legacy. By going to the theater, we validate why our stories are important and why we have to see them."
Walker-Kuhne and Anderson also discussed how proud they were to work on Stick Fly, a play by Nelle Nugent with music by Alicia Keys, that brought in audiences that were over 70% African American.
Walker-Kuhne mentioned that she is currently involved in a number of projects, including as a producer for Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting, a play about Jackie Robinson meeting with Branch Rickey, who signed Robinson to play for the Dodgers.
She is also working on planning the tenth anniversary of Bite the Big Apple, an annual program in which 12 Australian arts administrators are invited to New York in October for a multicultural arts crawl to learn about diversity and bring what they learn back home.