A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization | info@improvutopia.com

A High Tide Raises All Ships

Diversity & Inclusion

We aim to make Improv Utopia an inclusive & diverse environment where improv enthusiasts can connect.

Diversity Statement:

Our mission as a Non-Profit is to give back to the arts community and forward the advancement of improv as an artform. We want to be the inspiration and example for the larger improv community, if we do better, everyone does better. We believe this means a diverse and inclusive environment and are dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming space for all to collaborate.

In 2022 our commitment was to increase the racial diversity at our camps, specifically Improv Utopia East, by at least 10%. In 2023, it is our hope that we can continue to increase racial diversity to 20% and increase attendance of those at different physical capabilities across the board.

We are currently offering a $50 discount. We will also have scholarships available. You can reach out to jacque@improvutopia.com and diversity@improvutopia.com anytime for the discount.

What We've Done:

In 2020 we:

  • Hired Allison Reese-Shapiro to be our Outreach - Inclusion Manager.
  • With her assistance we:
    • Aimed for more inclusive language, welcoming campers to share their pronouns and diversity with us.
    • Opened conversations at our camps on boundaries to support a safe environment.
    • Sought out diverse and talented instructors for our camps.
    • Hosted free workshops marketed directly for diverse communities.
      • Featuring Master Instructors from those communities, including LGTBQA+, 50+, A Black Empowerment Workshop, All Encompassing Diversity Workshop, Women of Color, Asian, and LatinX/Latin(e).

In 2022 we:

  • Appointed Anita Nicholson our Diversity Adviser
  • With her assistance we:
    • Set diversity targets. 
    • Added diversity & inclusion page to site.
    • Updated site to include past diversity actions and current focuses.
    • Reached out to diverse improv groups & individual. members for recruitment to increase representation. 
    • Email recruitment with more targeted diversity message. 
    • Diversity discount available to BIPOC campers.
    • Reached out to past POC campers for feedback in increasing diversity.
    • Reached out to other Diversity directors on East Coast for feedback.
    • Established Staff Diversity Training.
    • Added Red Flag Reporting for safer reporting practices & accessibility.
    • Included into opening ceremonies a diversity message with safety discussions.
    • Create D & I Facebook group for year round discussion
    • Awarded 4 Diversity Scholarships & 9 Partial Scholarships
    • Held D & I Brainstorming Sessions at Camp
    • Requested specific diversity feedback via our surveys.

In 2023 we:

  • Financial Growth
    • Build scholarship program to assist with hardship, open to all, not specific to diversity. This year, for West we were able to provide assistance to over 10 campers
    • Continue to maintain diversity discount
  • Training Growth
    • Continue staff, instructor & counselor diversity training.
    • Add diversity training for campers.
    • Add Virtual programming focused on accessibility and also  featuring a diverse  panel
  • Set Targets
    • Continue our goal to increase diversity and representation another 5% for East, West and Yosemite
  • Increase Accessibility
    • Try to provide lighting arrangements for those with light sensitivity when possible in classrooms
    • Provide travel assistance for those who require help at camp (rides up the hill at West_
  • Request and Respond to Feedback
    • Poll campers about affinity jam feedback
    • Add a new affinity jam for neurodiversity
    • Receive feedback regarding Yom Kippur and Yosemite overlap
    • Maintain & encourage various reporting structures - Surveys, Red Flag, email, direct contact
    • Create diversity facebook page and continue diversity roundtables for feedback and community
  • Regular Internal Communication
    • Hold monthly meetings between diversity advisor, board member and managing director to review diversity concerns, outgoing materials and upcoming events
  • Maintain Existing Connections
    • Continue to maintain the strong gender and LGBTQIA representation at our camps
    • Continue to find ways to acknowledge campers  in various ways through awards and cabin awards
    • Continue diversity recruitment
    • Continue camper Bill of Rights
    • Continue to support recognizing camper pronouns
    • Continue to update diversity and FAQ section of website
    • Continue to receive instructor recommendations and maintain instructor application form on site
  • Open Up Recruitment
    • Open up counselor selection - include board member & DI in process




Our Commitment:

We aim to make Improv Utopia an inclusive and diverse environment where improv enthusiasts can connect, feature diverse representation in our instructors and leadership, and make partnerships with advisors to maintain a safe environment.

Continued goals:

  • Mandatory staff, instructor & volunteer diversity training.
  • Virtual programming throughout the year featuring our diverse community leaders.
  • Generate more diverse content, featuring diverse communities and artists on the Improv Utopia platform.
  • Increase racial diversity and representation of differing capabilities across all camps.
  • Maintain the strong gender and LGBTQIA representation at our camps.
By 2025 we hope to:
Increase the racial diversity at all our camps to 25-30% or more of our total campers.

News & Events

April 16th: Virtual Indie Festival Organization Panel

As our communities are re-emerging and our artform is growing with experience, our panelists all have experience creating their own improv festivals from scratch &/or relaunching a festival in recent years.

Read More

ON DEMAND: Virtual Capabilities Panel

In Improv, the assumption is that all team members are the same high energy level, the same age range (20-30s), the same physical capabilities and are neuro typical. 

But, that is not the case. So, how can we support our teammates of differing abilities?

Read More

Report concerns safely, securely and anonymously 24/7

If you are uncomfortable with a situation, Be Proactive.

Red Flag Reporting is your hotline for:

  • Fraudulent activity / theft
  • Misconduct
  • Safety violations
  • Unethical behavior

Protect your organization and your co-workers – Because Everyone Deserves to Feel Protected and Safe.

To file a report, provide client code Utopia and simply do one of the following:

1.     Visit www.RedFlagReporting.com and click on “File a Report”

2.     Call 1-877-647-3335

3.     Text RFR to 234-231-9005

4.     You may also use the following (be sure to be detail oriented, provide our client code, and indicate if you wish to be anonymous our not):

a.     Fax to 330-572-8146

b.     Email to redflag@redflagreporting.com

c.     Mail to RFR, P.O. Box 4230, Akron, Ohio 44321