Supporting HUGE Theater – Why it Matters to Us in Baltimore

May 15, 2024

Why would a Baltimore-based improv theater donate to one in Minnesota?  Let’s play a round of five things to explain:

  1. HUGE has been a leader in developing policies and procedures that build inclusivity into improv from within the deepest parts of the organization.  In fact, you’ll see that we’ve cited them and a few others in our own Code of Conduct.  The culture and expectations in the improv community globally is influenced greatly by individual theaters doing things right – people move to and from cities and bring the expectations they are used to.  By supporting any theater making space for safe, inclusive, supportive improv, we contribute to making improv a better art form everywhere, including in Baltimore.
  2. HUGE has successfully taken the crucial step of owning their building – so many improv organizations lack the security of an owned space, and this has caused a run of long-standing improv institutions from Los Angeles, to Boston, to Pittsburgh having to shutter in recent years.  We believe a thriving improv scene has massive benefits to a city, and it deserves to be on a stable foundation.  If we can contribute to that, again we contribute to the security and legitimacy of improv as an art form everywhere.
  3. The improv community remains too geographically fragmented.  Pre-COVID, collaboration among improv theaters was rare, and centered almost exclusively around festivals.  The rise of online improv helped bridge those gaps temporarily, but we must also continue that work in our in-person improv spaces.  The Improv Leadership Summit last year was a great step towards this, and while every improv theater has 4785209 things to focus on each day, if we can spend some time and money supporting one another, again we develop strength for the art form.
  4. Donation campaigns thrive on reach – if we can contribute our audience and awareness to this important drive, that often does more than any one individual donation.
  5. Finally, HUGE (and in particular John Gebretatose) does incredible work in supporting improv for the Black community, as well as the broader BIPOC community (it’s why we specifically donated under the BIPOC IMPROV JAM LOVES HUGE banner).  Baltimore is a majority-Black city, so our organization’s money should regularly go to supporting Black improv – and once again, we don’t look only to Baltimore to have that impact.

These are five things!

Consider adding your donation to the campaign today!

HUGE improv theater with a green and yellow sunburst graphic.