Black Ensemble Theater

Free to BE Village
Ongoing
Cultural, Chicago
Project Facts

Began September 2016

Team

Ascent
The Elements Group
Black Ensemble Theater
Studio Gang Architects
DLA Piper
Cushman & Wakefield
Bulley & Andrews
Faust

Full Case Study:

Free to BE

Free to BE is the Black Ensemble Theater’s initiative to manifest its mission of eradicating racism outside its walls, boldly sharing it with the diverse people and communities of our world. Their goal is to create a community and global movement centered around acceptance, culture, and positivity.

“I first dreamed of a theater company that was in existence to eradicate racism. I named it the Black Ensemble Theater and that dream came true. I next dreamed of a permanent home from which we could build and grow, I called it the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center –  and that dream came true. I now dream of a village, a diverse community where people exist together in peace and acceptance and this dream will come true. It is the newest initiative of the Black Ensemble Theater, an outward reflection of our mission to eradicate racism and we call it Free to BE.”  –  Black Ensemble Theater Founder, CEO,  Jackie Taylor

When Ascent joined, BET knew their overall vision for the project and had a lot of ideas about how to achieve it. We were brought in to help them distill their ideas into an actionable plan to move their vision along and to journey with them until it is achieved. Ascent is providing strategic consulting and program management services to help bring Jackie’s dream for the village to life. Our role includes: planning, scheduling, budget management, fundraising strategy, communication strategy, and interface with the City of Chicago. We bring in key resources at certain points in the project to keep all elements running smoothly. We are empowering BET and team to move forward in confidence, on schedule, on budget, and on vision.  


“I first dreamed of a theater company that was in existence to eradicate racism. I named it the Black Ensemble Theater and that dream came true.
I next dreamed of a permanent home from which we could build and grow, I called it the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center – and that dream came true. I now dream of a village, a diverse community where people exist together in peace and acceptance and this dream will come true. It is the newest initiative of the Black Ensemble Theater, an outward reflection of our mission to eradicate racism and we call it Free to BE.”
–Black Ensemble Theater Founder, Jackie Taylor

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