*All of the audio interviews and WOCA member profiles have been conducted and produced by WOCA members Simone Eccleston and Monique Martin. Copyright © 2011
Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) was started as an informal network of women working in the performing arts field in 2008.
After attending numerous regional performing arts conferences over the years and recognizing the lack of diversity among administrators at these conferences, and the field at-large, Kaisha S. Johnson began recruiting colleagues to discuss how women of color could help promote the field as one that was as inclusive behind the scenes as it was on stage.
In 2009, a meeting with Alison McNeil, then Programs Manager at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), begat a conversation which generated ideas on how to develop a more formalized structure for the network. Ultimately, WOCA was able to launch its first formal meeting at the APAP conference as a Special Interest Group in 2010.
WOCA is now a fiscally sponsored organization of over 300 affiliates. At our most recent annual membership meeting during the APAP conference, WOCA welcomed members and affiliates from not just across the United States, but from international locales as far as Brazil, Korea and Ghana, affirming the need for an inclusive and far-reaching network to support women of color in their professional endeavors and a sustainable vehicle for keeping the dialogue of cultural equity, diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our global field.