Over the last year, the nation has begun the long overdue process of acknowledging the systemic virus of racism in our society. We mourn the losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others and seek justice for them and their families. While we mourn and learn, we look to our own institutional practices that have been complicit.
As part of our collective attention to dismantling systemic racism, a spotlight is now shining on the American theatre industry and its history of white supremacy. As self-proclaimed storytellers, theatre artists desire to share stories that celebrate life, inspire empathy, and evoke social change. But from coast to coast, among amateur and professional companies, the vast majority of theatre falls very short in including all, both safely and respectfully, in its stories, board rooms, staff, audience and artistic community.
Of course, theatre makers are in the spotlight. We have much work to do.
In a collective effort, artists from the Bay Area’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have created both an action plan for theatre and a living document for actors, designers and theatre employees, in which they shared their experiences of discrimination and racism in our Bay theatres. We want those courageous artists to know that we hear you. And we know that actions are louder than words.
While equity, diversity, and inclusion are part of the core values of our organization and we have intended to use our long history in the county to support the mission of underrepresented organizations and communities, we acknowledge that our efforts have been inadequate.
We are no longer satisfied with incremental change and commit to the following actions to dismantle systemic racism in our organization and beyond.
Effective August 2020:
Review existing board recruitment procedure and job description to remove barriers to BIPOC engagement and foster diversity with specific attention to racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, dis/ability, and other identifiers.
Continue arts education programs to foster students’ appreciation of the arts, future engagement and provide access to personal development tools inherent to arts participation.
As our staff goes through both our individual and organizational anti-racist education, share our resources with the community via our website, social media and workshops.
Utilize our social media presence to loft the stories of the unsung, BIPOC historical heroes & artists.
Continue to work with the County of Marin to discuss barriers to BIPOC engagement in the arts.
Within 3 months:
Provide bi-annual Equity, Diversity & Inclusion training for all administrative staff, board members, designers and stage management. This training to include anti-racist and implicit bias education.
Provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to ALL employees.
Provide a system of reporting to address internal complaints which honors anonymity with external professional guidance.
Acknowledge the use of Indigenous Lands in both statement and support.
Review of all salaries and wages to ensure equitable employment.
Within 12 months:
Review current accessibility procedures and engagement tools to encourage access to the arts for everyone.
Continue active recruitment of BIPOC staff, artists and designers.
Establish formal paid mentor-ship/internship program to allow experienced artistic and administrative leaders to foster the BIPOC leaders of tomorrow.
Continue supporting underrepresented organizations, communities and individuals by sharing 20% of our daily mountain event raffle sales with relevant nonprofit organizations.
Establish a Task Force of both internal and external experienced participants to review our policies and actions on an ongoing basis.
Work to diversify programming beyond one play on Mt. Tamalpais and put ourselves in the position of having more opportunities for BIPOC, queer and disabled artists, creatives and administrators.
Provide financial transparency.
This is only the beginning. We pledge to continue to develop this plan and add statements and policies that address the needs of our community at any time.
We will undertake an annual review process to hold ourselves accountable.
We join with our fellow theaters and artists and are deeply committed to creating a theatrical community that is rich in diversity, more equitable, safe, and welcoming.
This is only the beginning of a journey that will take time. Please join us.
Please visit the Community Outreach page of our website for a complete list of existing programs.
All applicants for employment are considered for all positions without regard to age, ancestry, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), mental or physical disability, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, and/or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.