Our Anti-Racism Work
transparency + accountability

November 2020 Update


Our company recently completed the Joy Jackson Initiative Assessment. This work, along with the Anti-Racist Theatre Training (Nicole Brewer) and Race Forward's Building Racial Equity training, have allowed us to start envisioning a clearer path toward becoming an actively anti-racist organization. Other tools that we will be using include the Chicago Theatre Standards.

 

Our primary focus is on harm reduction, prevention and repair. This work has highlighted the need for (listed in no specific order):

  • fully and clearly articulating our anti-racist values as a company

  • formalizing our written policies regarding anti-racism, updating codes of conduct, casting/hiring policies

  • continuing to find ways to offer anti-racism training to company members, and in the future, creative & producing staff

  • finding a safe mechanism for reporting & feedback

  • developing an action plan for accountability around misconduct  

Next Steps: we have identified a series of small-group sessions that will focus on identifying and implementing policies & best practices in the following areas: performers, creative team, new work development, organizational culture & leadership, audience/community.  

In 2008, we founded this theatre company with the desire to uncover hidden stories and unheard voices. Our first full length play was inspired by the riots that took place in the Lower East Side in 1917.  The work that has followed has been dedicated to revealing injustices and inequity.

 

In 2016, we created a play that planted the seeds of anti-racism in our work and in our personal lives. While it has influenced the artistic and organizing work of the following years, we still have much work to do.

In 2020, we recommit ourselves to becoming an anti-racist organization and being active allies to the Black community. View statement.

OUR COMMITMENTS (June 2020)

  • We will seek out resources to strengthen and articulate our company’s anti-racist policies.

  • We will make anti-racist training available to company members.

  • We will continue to empower, uplift and hire artists of color.  

PAST INITIATIVES

2016:

  • Artistic Director Melissa Moschitto & Artistic Associate Mariah Freda took the PISAB Undoing Racism workshop. 

  • Programming Series for No Man's Land, "Reframe Your Reference," a series of post-show conversations investigating privilege & systemic racism in the United States today.
    - Becoming Woke: Recognizing White Complicity
    - Inclusion in the Arts: How Ethnicity Impacts Storytelling

2017:

  • Hosted an Emergency Artist Response session after the Charlottesville protests. Space provided by Artists Co-Op.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

2020:

  • We facilitated a Justice in June group (specifically for white company members & community members) to educate ourselves about white supremacy and build on our anti-racism tools. 

  • June: Melissa, Mariah & Irina attended an Anti-Racist Listening session with Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, thanks to Benvenuti Arts.

  • August-Sept: Melissa, Mariah, Marissa & China attended the Anti-Racist Theatre workshop hosted by Nicole Brewer. 

  • October: We completed the Joy Jackson Initiative Organizational Assessment designed to assess and analyze racial inequity at an organizational level.

Future:

  • We will host a series of policy & best practices conversations that will include and pay artists of color.