News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

Inside OPA: Meet our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility Committee

Posted On Oct 1, 2019, 14:57 PM by Mary King
Community Programs

At Omaha Performing Arts, we are lucky to have a staff of dedicated individuals who have passions inside and outside of the arts. We have committees in our workplace that focus on employee wellness, staff appreciation and more.  

Our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Committee (a.k.a, the IDEA Committee) works to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest from a myriad of backgrounds. I’ll let them explain! This is the committee’s position statement: 

We appreciate and value ideas that come from a diverse work environment and want to bring diversity of thought, experience and expertise to everything we do. We believe an inclusive culture provides an atmosphere that allows all individuals to attain their greatest potential and achieve the greatest benefits for our patrons and the communities we serve.  

The IDEA Committee works to promote and demonstrate the organization’s commitment to an equitable workplace and inclusive environment for our patrons. They offer training opportunities for staff and volunteers, provide lunch and learn activities focused on different cultures, create conversations around important pieces of media (we love a good book club and documentary hour!), and encourage participation in Omaha community events. You may have seen our staff waving in the Heartland Pride Parade or celebrating Cinco De Mayo with community members, but a lot more goes on behind the scenes. 

I spoke with some members of the committee to learn more about the importance of this mission in our organization. 


Q: How has being on the IDEA Committee enriched your experience at OPA? 

Malakhi Eason, Programming Manager: “IDEA has helped me navigate myself though the workplace and enriched my knowledge of what it means to be aware of my surroundings and to be direct about my intension in and outside of the office. Honestly, I have grown so much just by the pieces of training and conversations with my peers.” 

Q: What interested you in joining the IDEA Committee? 

Echelle Childers, Patron Services Team Lead: “I want the world to change. I want acceptance, equity and awareness for and from all people. I want positive interactions that facilitate communication and learning among all facets of individuals. I feel like the IDEA Committee is the starting point for Omaha Performing Arts, and I wanted to be a part of the process.” 

Q: What impact have you seen at OPA as a result of the IDEA Committee?  

Victoria McGiffin, Donor Relations Manager:  “I've always admired the diversity that OPA encompasses. The IDEA Committee hosts events and trainings throughout the year that bring staff together in a safe setting to express our thoughts and ideas. It's a great feeling to be in meetings and know that we have a strong representation of people around the table who will do everything they can to make OPA an inclusive environment, for our staff and for our patrons.” 

Q: Why is IDEA important to the organization?  

Gennean Scott, Director of Human Resources: “IDEA is important for several reasons but if I had to select one, it allows us to have varied perspectives when meeting the needs of not just one another, but our patrons.” 

All in all, OPA is aware that our human capital is our most valuable asset as an organization, and our trust, teamwork and integrity grow with every step our IDEA committee takes. Thanks for all your hard work to make our workplace one of dignity and respect!  

To learn more about our mission as an organization, visit