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The location based experience industry includes theme parks, entertainment centers, touring productions, museums and much more! 


As part of our strategic plan we are focusing on transforming our industry to be more inclusive and therefore we are focussed on those who are within it first. Don’t fret, there are plenty of existing resources for people to get to know the industry along with many resources for you to continue your journey with IDEA.

What is the Location-Based Experience Industry?

Location-Based Experience is about bringing people together in real-life shared experiences. Themed Entertainment is an umbrella term for a wide-range of live experiences. Examples include: theme parks, water parks, museums, zoos, and botanical gardens.

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Big Break Foundation's Resource List

Industry Resources

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American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

Since 1906 the Alliance has been a leader in developing best practices and advocating for museums, as well as providing a host of opportunities to museum staff and volunteers.


Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)

AZA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conversation, education, science, and recreation.

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International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)


IAAPA hosts global events and conferences that spread successful ideas and practices.


Themed Entertainment Creative Workshop Series (TECWS)

The TEC Workshop Series is comprised of themed entertainment professionals who recognize a needs for specific educational resources relating to careers within the industry.


SLICE Creative Network

SLICE Creative Network connects you to talented attraction industry Freelancers in the USA in one virtual place.

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Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)


ASTC is a professional membership organization with a vision of increased understanding of-and engagement with-science and technology among all people and a mission to champion and support science and technology centers and museums.


Networking the attractions business. Blooloop is the world's leading online resource for professionals working in the visitor attractions sector.

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Themed Entertainment Association (TEA)


TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences.


Themed Experience Television


TETV is a network hosting multiple shows surrounding various topics of the themed entertainment industry.


World Waterpark Association (WWA)

WWA is an international not-for-profit member-based trade association that serves waterparks, aquatic venues and spray parks of all shapes and sizes.

Continue your journey


SATE 2019 - Cynthia Sharpe — Go Beyond Being an Ally. Be an Accomplice.

Watch and listen to Cynthia Sharpe's talk explaining the intricacies and nuances of going beyond just being an ally in the workplace. She covers actionable items from all levels within a company or organization.

SATE 2018 — Beyond a Title: The Ingredient of Leadership, Part 2

Fri brings passion and enthusiasm to the arts of storytelling and placemaking for multiple industries. Watch and listen to her presentation on effective leadership within the themed entertainment industry.

Untitled Themed Entertainment Design Show — Religion, Holidays, & Inclusivity (TETV)

Join TETV in an interfaith round table discussion on religion, holidays, and inclusivity in themed entertainment. Featuring Mel McGowan, founder and chief creative officer for Storyland Studios, Cynthia Sharpe, co-founder of Harriet B's Daughters and principal of cultural attractions and research at Thinkwell Group, and Nicola Rossini, co-founder of Harriet B's Daughters and executive producer for Riding Chaos LLC.

So... You're About to Graduate College — An Open Conversation About Gender and Themed Entertainment (TETV)

Watch for a frank, candid discussion with two prominent themed entertainment pros, Wendy Heimann-Nunes and Cynthia Sharpe, about the evolution and future of gender equity in the themed entertainment industry.

Untitled Themed Entertainment Design Show — The Themes We Grew Up With Were  Problematic (TETV)

On this show the TETV team has a candid conversation, identifying issues and discuss how we can all do better within problematic themes and cultural appropriation within themed entertainment. This week Tahirah Agbamuche and Cynthia Sharpe and Xavier Treto join for this critical discussion.

Read about how the industry is progressing...

Watch how the industry is progressing...

Foot in Mouth: Crash Course 101

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  1. Apologize 

  2. Be defenseless and have uncomfortable conversations to learn varying perspectives

  3. Take Action

    • Seek educational tools to understand your bias and work daily to unlearn biases  

    • Invite someone you trust on your journey to hold you accountable 

  4. Speak up & stand out when you witness discrimination

    • Actively Listen, avoid listening to respond 

    • Give support in the moment, don’t approach victims or make excuses after the fact

    • Report incident for accountability 

    • Ensure there are no consequences or retaliation towards victim/whistleblower

    • Follow-Up through resolution 

  5. Reflect on ways to progress towards equitable best practice 

Scenario 1 (Anti-Racism):

Summer C. Gory was a highly ambitious recent graduate looking to land her dream job. When she applied for ideal positions, she would always get a callback, did well on phone interviews but that seemed to be as far as she could go. 


Summer noticed when she went in for in-person interviews, she would always get the following comment, “Oh, you’re Summer.” Summer is a Black woman but on paper and over the phone, her racial identity isn’t as obvious.

  • Something to Think About:

    • “Oh, you’re Summer.” 

      • Given the context, how do you think Summer felt? 

    • Given that Summer is Black and was always able to get the paper screening and phone interviews, what made the in-person different? 

    • Have you ever reviewed a resume and assumed they’re a particular race? 

  • How to do better:

    • Notice the behavior, acknowledge it is discrimination and make an effort to not continue the practice.

Scenario 2 (LGBTQ+):

Taylor Jones is a well-educated professional in her field. When she applied for jobs for which she was highly qualified, she would receive calls inviting her for a phone interview. When she answered the phone, however, the prospective employer would misgender her due to the deepness of her voice. When she corrected them and indicated that she was Taylor, the prospective employers would awkwardly bumble through the remainder of the call. 


In instance when she would be invited in for an interview, she would be misgendered due to the depth of her voice and her not having passing privileges as a transgender woman. Though on paper she was perfect for the job, Taylor’s gender identity was not obvious on her application thus she experienced traumatic misgendering. 


  • Something to Think About:

    • What assumptions did the interviewer make that led to their confusion? 

    • Have you ever reviewed a resume and assumed their gender? 

  • How to do better:

    • Don’t make gender assumptions based on names on paper nor the tone of a person’s voice. 

    •  If unclear, verify their pronouns.

Scenario 3 (Accessibility):

Brian Smith is an industry professional with extensive work experience and always open to new opportunities. He has no problem landing phone/video interviews, they typically end very well. However, when he mentions he is disabled and uses a wheelchair the conversation/opportunity tends to go south. 


Being in a wheelchair doesn't mean he requires no additional accommodations outside of the standard ADA compliance. He also does not need extended time off work for any medical appointments. Brian’s disability has nothing to do with his intellectual nor cognitive skill sets. 


  • Something to Think About:

    • Why do you think the conversations immediately change once the wheelchair is mentioned?  

    • Have you ever made assumptions about disabled people and their ability to function in the workplace?

  • How to do better:

    • Don’t make the initial assumptions based on a person’s disabilities. 

    • Physical disabilities don’t equate with less intelligence. 

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