Blog

Preparing for The Possibility of In-Person Shows in 2022

tl;dr - we're preparing for the return of outdoor shows (targeting April) and indoor shows and rehearsals (targeting May) but we're monitoring how things proceed over the next few weeks as mask mandates are lifted.About 7 months ago, with the rise of the Delta variant across the United States, we announced that we would be pressing pause on in-person shows at Highwire Improv. We made this decision based on three key factors: An increasing case rate (a 7-day rolling average of 696 cases per day in Maryland on August 8th).Uncertainty around Delta's impact on breakthrough cases for vaccinated individuals.The reinstatement…
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Pressing Pause on Indoor Shows

Hello everyone, We have made the difficult decision to cancel Highwire Improv's indoor in-person shows for August, and suspend indoor shows until further notice.  Our documentation has been updated to reflect this, and we'll shortly make social media posts with a summary of the same information. Continue reading for some additional details about this decision and what to expect next.Current Production Status (as of post on 8-August-2021, see the above link for the most up-to-date info) Indoor Shows: SUSPENDEDOutdoor Shows: LIVE, RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR VACCINATED INDIVIDUALSOnline Shows: LIVE, RECOMMENDED FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS For Season 4, this means we have cancelled the following shows: August 14th…
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An Elephant in the Room

Intro - Why Talk About this At All?Hello everyone!Recently, the Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) announced that they've hired Thomas Dotstry as their new Managing Director, which is exciting news for the improv community, especially in Baltimore. However, it also resurfaced some long-standing questions about improv in Baltimore and what that experience has been like, especially over the past year. It's also raised questions and speculation about Highwire - how do we feel about it, and how will we interact with BIG in the coming months.While these are difficult, awkward, nuanced conversations, they are exactly the sort of conversations we owe…
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We’re On Our Way to 501(c)(3)!

We have some very exciting organizational news to share (and maybe a few myths to bust, or at least clarify)!On Thursday, April 22nd, Highwire Improv formed its initiating board of directors, officers, and adopted our initial bylaws. Then on Saturday, April 24th, we submitted Form 1023, the application to become a Tax-Exempt Non-Profit organization (under the United States Internal Revenue Code). In the next 3-6 months, we'll find out if that application was accepted, as well as our status as a Public Charity.If that all sounds confusing... well it is. Let's walk through it all for a little bit of…
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Announcing Our Third Season!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 26, 2021Contact: Highwire Improv at highwireimprov@gmail.com Baltimore’s Highwire Improv Ready for Third Season Baltimore-based Highwire Improv will open its third season of virtual programming on Monday, May 3, with nearly 80 groups from around the globe scheduled to perform. The season will stream on Highwire's YouTube channel through July 24. Each Highwire season runs 12 weeks with daily shows streamed live and also available for on-demand viewing. Since launching in November 2020, Highwire has streamed more than 350 hours of content. For the second straight season, Highwire will partner with the Maryland Improv Collective and Black Improv…
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On the March Madness Feedback

Hello Highwire Community,Thank you for your candid feedback regarding our decision to include and endorse Matt Besser as a special guest judge for the final match of the March Madness of Improv festival.  Listening to the community is something you should always expect from us, and we are glad you felt like you could speak up. We heard your feedback via multiple channels - email, on Facebook posts announcing the event, and we talked to several of you directly, and we reflected on the decision ourselves in a way that we should have earlier in this process.  This post will…
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What Happens When There’s a Problem?

Hello everyone!Last week we removed the video recording and post for an improv set that appeared on our channel, in response to feedback about the content of the set and our subsequent review. We wanted to make a post about this because it’s important both to be transparent and to recognize that even when there are best intentions, improv is an art form with an increased risk of causing harm due to its spontaneous nature.  That risk implies an obligation for us all to put in work to protect the community and repair when things go wrong, big or small. …
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Announcing Community Training with Hollaback!

As part of our continued investment in community work towards anti-racism and anti-oppression, Highwire Improv is excited to announce two training programs to be delivered by the amazing team at Hollaback! Using Implicit Bias Training to Investigate Improv Exercises Beginning with the Hollaback! Implicit Bias training program on May 3rd, Highwire will facilitate a collaborative effort among up to 50 improv instructors to breakdown and investigate common improv warmups and exercises. We will use the tools learned during the Hollaback! training program to identify both: How these exercises can lead to bad outcomes without implicit bias awareness.How these exercises can…
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Fridays are for Black Improv

It needs to be that easy - Fridays are for Black improv. Highwire Improv is a Baltimore organization. For those of us who know us only online, Baltimore, Maryland is one of the Blackest cities in the United States, with a Black population of more than 60%. For anyone (online or not), you probably already know that improv has rarely represented that fact - at Highwire, in Baltimore, or really anywhere. One thing we decided early on was that we had a responsibility to work towards changing this, and not incrementally though focus groups, or strategic planning, but with constant…
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Why Have A Conflict of Interest Policy?

Part of Highwire Improv’s series ‘Important Stuff Most People Find Boring’ The internet is surprisingly full with websites and forums discussing conflict-of-interest policies for non-profit organizations (like Highwire Improv).  There are three reasons for this: The IRS requires non-profit organizations to have a conflict-of-interest policy.Legal things are detailed and complicated.Most people don’t want to deal with that so they copy/paste the IRS’s example policy and use that, and then get shocked when they actually need the policy.  It turns out that thinking about important, ambiguous, situations before they happen is a good idea! Like many things associated with non-profit policy,…
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