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WhY We Are

Mission Statement

The Underground Performing Arts Collective believes that representation matters.

Our mission is to provide shelter and assistance -- a safe, inclusive space -- to performing artists, creatives, and students from underrepresented, diverse populations and abilities in order to transform communities through artistic expression,  collaboration, and education.

We provide opportunities to those underrepresented and allow for creative exploration, collaboration, audience engagement, community advocacy, and artistic development.

Tagline: Leading the way to freedom & unleashing the power in  underrepresented communities through the arts.


It is our goal to be recognized as a leading organization that advocates through arts education & arts activism for communities who’ve felt unseen and unheard – guiding them from the underground to the surface – because representation matters.

Artistic Goals


Amplify diverse voices and share diverse stories reflecting our community.


Ensure that different ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds are included with the works that we produce.


Maintain diversity among those who create and teach.


Develop production seasons, programming, and classes that interest diverse audiences and participants.

Organizational Goals


Accurately represent the diversity of our community.


Address systemic racism and the need for inclusivity within the field of theatre/

performing arts.


Create awareness and performing arts educational opportunities for underrepresented populations.


Engage diverse vendors, sponsors, and supporters.


Promote a welcoming atmosphere and sense of belonging among all visitors to our facility.


Build understanding of the role of the arts in our lives and appreciation for the theatre arts throughout Hampton Roads. Increase awareness of UPAC and our educational and outreach nonprofit component The Arts Academy @ UPAC in every community. Develop and foster relationships within various underrepresented communities. Create performing arts experiences and participate in community initiatives within neighborhoods throughout the Hampton Roads area.


UPAC and The Arts Academy @ UPAC, its nonprofit education and community engagement arm, recognize the importance of a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Therefore, we are committed to creating an inclusive culture that works to maintain equity for all students, performing artists, creatives, and anyone who engages with our productions, workshops, and outreach events. We ensure a culture of inclusivity through our collective curiosity about different perspectives and respect for the variety of human experiences. We are intentional in seeking a receptive, engaged, and accessible learning environment for all.


We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are important components to building community as well as to the artistic teaching and learning experience.

UPAC and The Arts Academy @ UPAC are committed to ensuring a culturally conscious and inclusive environment among our collective members, instructors, students, and performing artists.


•Integrity & Inclusivity


•Mutual Respect




•Collaboration & Celebration


I  - Integrity and Inclusivity - We will serve with integrity and honesty; We are intentionally inclusive.  We will use language that is inclusive as we foster an environment where each person is seen and each voice is heard .

A – Advocacy - We will build and advocate for community through the arts.

M – Mutual Respect - We will show respect for each other, our diverse perspectives, and the work we do individually and collectively. We are here to create a SAFE space.


U -  Unity - We will demonstrate unity through collective artistic collaboration.

P – Professionalism - We are committed to professionalism and a sprit of excellence

A -  Accountability - We will hold ourselves accountable to our commitments to ourselves, each other, and our creative work through introspection of our ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Personal accountability is our truest measure of success.

C - Collaboration and Celebration - We leverage the collective wisdom, talents, and diverse thinking of our team through the collaborative process; we celebrate our diversity and the stories of the communities we represent as we educate through the arts.

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