Less than a year ago we announced the formation of LEIA: The League of Experiential & Immersive Artists. LEIA was formed by a coalition of Los Angeles based immersive theatre creators, experience designers, and event producers. The mission is straightforward: LEIA seeks to advance the immersive and experiential arts through collaboration, education, and advocacy on behalf of creators and producers.
Of course, you might have a few questions, like “how are you going to do all that” for starters.
What LEIA Is
Let’s start with the basics: LEIA has organized itself into a number of committees, each of which is tackling a unique challenge or opportunity within our growing community.
The Permit committee pre-dates the formation of LEIA, and was created to address issues surrounding the permitting of immersive events in the city of Los Angeles. That committee is in open dialogue with officials in the Mayor’s office, and City Councilmembers. At present the committee is gathering data on issues that producers have had getting permits, the permitting processes in other cities, and cases where venues have closed. One aim is to produce a document known as a “white paper,” which will help make the case for the value of immersive & experiential work in a format that government officials understand. (You can help out by answering the questionnaire.)
All of this is part of our effort to make it possible for work small and large to be produced legally, without fear of productions being shut down due to violations of government regulations.
The purpose of the Safety & Practices committee is to provide guidance to immersive creators in ensuring the physical and emotional safety of audiences, actors, and all involved in creating immersive work. Their first order of business is to create best practices guidelines that can help first-time producers and veterans alike take the proper steps to make their productions as risk-aware, safe, and fair as possible. The guidelines will offer minimum standards for rehearsal conditions, performer and patron safety, insurance & liability, inclusivity & accessibility, and other related areas. These guidelines will speak to issues that are specific to immersive and interactive productions.
Responses to this survey will help shape the committee’s work in drafting best practice guidelines. The drafting and maintenance of these guidelines represents an ongoing dialogue between LEIA, creators, and patrons of the immersive and experiential arts.
The Education committee has already completed a cycle of workshop classes on some of the fundamental performance techniques involved in creating immersive theatre. Their work will continue this summer, continuing the performance related work and delving into other aspects of design. We’ve been excited by the response to the workshops so far, and want to know what other classes the community would like to see offered.
The Outreach committee is tasked with the job of connecting with prospective members and allies in other arts organizations. They produce our membership and public events, and are charged with carrying out the broader advocacy parts of the LEIA mission.
In the weeks and months to come there will be more data gathering efforts, starting with an effort around exploring Insurance issues that producers have had in the past. Look for a survey about that soon.
We’re also happy to announce that our Audition Board is now open, and usable by the public to both list and view auditions.
We’re are also pleased to announce the addition of Niyia Mack (Delusion, Safehouse ‘77) to the LEIA Founding Committee. Niyia has stepped in for Jenny Weinbloom, who took a job with Meow Wolf in Santa Fe earlier this year.
Our aim is to have formal membership bylaws in place by the beginning of the Fall season, if not sooner. These will outline membership benefits and requirements. LEIA is intended to be an inclusive organization that is able to reflect the vested interests of those who make and champion immersive and experiential work.
This blog will feature updates and announcements as they become available.
-Noah Nelson, for the Founding Committee
LEIA Founding Committee