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July 18, 2023 56 mins

After 25 years of experience in the theatre industry as a performer, Tavia Rivée Jefferson realized her very unique skill set made her a perfect fit for an emerging need in the rehearsal room, but this time, behind the table. Tavia created the role of Cultural Coordinator -  a mediator, moderator, resource, and liaison to support cultural sensitivities in the artistic space. 

Tune in to listen as Host Ashley Hicks chats with Tavia about how her unique journey led her to cultural coordinating and how the question, “if not me, then who?” created an entirely new and necessary role in the theatre industry. 

“After the execution of George Floyd, I found myself in a lot of zoom rooms and affinity spaces where I was hearing people of color need a space or a representative to speak on our behalf when we didn't feel safe.” - Tavia Rivée Jefferson

Episode Transcript


Tavia Rivée Jefferson is a performer, director and communication specialist.  After earning her Communications degree from Chapman University, Tavia returned to the arts, performing in shows including, All Shook Up, Trav’lin, Hairspray, Beehive, HAIR, Little Shop of Horrors, Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE,  the National Tour of Motown the Musical and Disney Theatricals workshop cast of Aida.  During the pandemic, Tavia focused her skills in interpersonal and organizational communication and cultural relations to build the specialized role of Cultural Coordinating, designed to improve cultural competency in artistic spaces.  Tavia is currently Cultural Coordinator for multiple regional, touring, West End, and Broadway productions, including To Kill a Mockingbird, Company, Hairspray and Other World at Delaware Theatre Company. Tavia Rivée Jefferson


Ashley J. Hicks (a.k.a. Ash, she/her) works currently as a Programs Coordinator for A.R.T./New York.  Ash is an actor, writer, solo performer & teaching artist. She received her MFA from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in 2021 and was a participant in the 2022 Disney Discovers Talent Showcase. To learn more about Ashley and her past/recent projects, please visit

Nicky Maggio or “N” (they/them) currently serves as Programs Manager at A.R.T/New York. N is a freelance theatrical curator with a focus on new play development and directing. Originally born in southeast Massachusetts, Nicky received their B.F.A. at Emerson College and then completed their M.F.A in Directing at The New School. For more information on their artistic projects visit @nickymaggio

For more information about A.R.T./New York, please visit

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“What’s Off?” Production Staff David E. Shane, Executive Producer Erica Wray Barnes, Associate Producer Nicky Maggio, Episode Line Producer Catalin Media, Audio Engineer

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