What do we mean by “Latinx-centric”?
In addition to recognizing individual Latinx artists and makers, the ALTA Awards seek to acknowledge and celebrate companies/collectives/groups that center the voices, talents and stories of Latinx people in their content, creation, or mission. This would also include specific productions at ally theaters that center Latinx voices and stories in their content, and in their hiring practices.
An example would be that a Latinx-centric theater or theater-making group is a group whose mission statement is centered around Latinx identity or experiences.
Why do theaters/groups get the opportunity to nominate (through a representative for that group)?
As major contributors to the Latinx theater movement, whether through programming, education, mentorship or through creating professional opportunities for artists, we believe that Latinx-centric companies/groups should be afforded the opportunity to collectively invest in the celebration and recognition of their fellow artists.
And why is that group nomination weighted more than individuals?
Historically, Latinx-centric theaters and theater making groups have not been afforded the same recognition and celebration by awards authorities and institutions. ALTA seeks to leverage the platform the ALTA awards create to empower these historically neglected groups and companies, and to uplift their voices and recognize their contributions to the Latinx theater movement.
Why aren’t theaters/groups allowed to vote?
Voting is reserved for individual ALTA members in order to maintain the integrity of the awards process, and to ensure that recipients are chosen exclusively by their peers. In order to combat nepotism, and to balance institutional influence and individual impact, theatres/groups/collectives may not participate in the voting process.
Why are group representatives not allowed to nominate as individuals as well?
There are several technological aspects to this that our Director of Membership can explain if needed, but the main reason is integrity and freedom of choice.
When an individual decides to act as a representative for their Latinx-centric group, their nominations, like all nominations, will be accepted as is. These individuals are not required to only nominate individuals or productions at the group they represent. They are essentially acting as an individual nomination that is weighted due to their position and vested interest of the group they represent. There are many categories that not all groups serve that the group representative's voice will serve to weight nominations in. That individual's bias has been trusted by their group to speak to those categories as well. They are essentially already voting as individual.
If a group would prefer to designate a different group representative to better represent their interests, that would be discussed internal to their group as ALTA will accept the nomination ballot as is.
Why can’t allied theaters submit nominations?
The ALTA Awards seek to empower the Latinx theatre community to celebrate and recognize the talents and achievements of their peers, and to affirm the contributions that Latinx theatre artists and makers and Latinx-centric groups/productions to the field. These award are intentionally for and by Latinx people. Historically Latinx artists and companies have been neglected, ignored, or misunderstood by majority publications, awarding bodies, and theater institutions; these award seek to shift the balance of power in the pursuit of equity. Allied theaters are welcome to encourage their Latinx members and colleagues to nominate and vote, but may not participate in the nomination or voting process.
Why do I have to be an ALTA member to submit nominations and to vote in the ALTA Awards?
All ALTA members have self-identified as Latinx theater makers who are in the Chicagoland area. The ALTA Awards are intentionally by and for Latinx people, and represent an opportunity for Latinx theater artists and companies to invest in the celebration and recognition of the achievements of their peers. They are also an opportunity to forge unity and coalition among the wonderfully diverse artists and companies that make up the landscape of Latinx theater in Chicagoland. Additionally, ALTA is a 100% volunteer organization, and our core team does not currently have the capacity to absorb the work of tallying so many nominations and votes from nonmembers.
Why is there no nomination committee?
The ALTA Awards rely on the collective discernment of the ALTA membership to determine what is “outstanding”, and strive to avoid the bias of a committee that may not be inclusive of all identities and areas of Latinx theater in Chicagoland. Administrating and maintaining such a committee is beyond the current capacity of the ALTA core team. Additionally, the time, energy and money required of such committee members has the potential to be prohibitive and exclusive of members who are busy make theater themselves. Relying on members to nominate and vote also encourages members to engage with and attend Latinx theater in and around Chicago, and enriches the artistic and professional landscape of Chicagoland Latinx theater.
What do you mean by “Chicagoland”?
Many long-standing and wonderful Latinx theaters make their home in the area surrounding Chicago, and make up a vital part of the Latinx theater movement. Including them is in keeping with ALTA mission to promote and strengthen the Latinx theater landscape. “Chicagoland" is not a defined area, but inclusive of Chicago and areas around Chicago.
Can I nominate myself?
ALTA members may nominate and vote for themselves. Non-members may not submit nominations nor votes.
Why are there no gender specific individual categories?
What if a non-member of ALTA uses the ballot to nominate or vote?
ALTA has a record of all registered members and will only being using the nominations and votes of ALTA members. Non-members are encouraged to register for membership per the qualifications and deadlines available here.