Anti-racism and Equity Mission:
Exemplify inclusivity, sharing the voices and stories of those who are often silenced, by creating safe and affirmative spaces for BIPOC individuals.
Increasing representation, improving experience, uplifting voices of BIPOC womxn. We plan to do this through the pillars of membership, partnerships, production processes, fundraising, financial structures, leadership and communication. In expressing our values through our mission and goals, we hope to maintain an approach toward anti-racist work in theater that is collaborative, dynamic, and self-examining.
- We aim to diversify our member base (through diversifying shows, casting & audience)
- We will increase member voice within the organization (e.g. show selection, etc.)
- For show selection, we are opening show proposal process to increase the number of shows that reflect our vision of uplifting voices and stories of BIPOC womxn
- Both members and non-members will have ways to propose shows with clear criteria (including focus on BIPOC stories) for how Skylight is choosing shows for each season and overall
- Members will have a voice in helping choose criteria for show selection for our seasons
- We will explore restructuring our membership model to ensure equitable visibility and participation across all members
- Skylight seeks to build partnerships with other theater companies and community organizations that are experts in antiracism work, to advance these goals within STC and across the Boston theater community
- We commit to expanding our outreach to BIPOC students, professionals, and audiences through new partnerships with local organizations.
- Skylight seeks to build connections outside of our current community to welcome those who have been underrepresented in theater community through creating low investment opportunities (e.g. 10 minute fests, reaching out to schools)
- We will practice zero-tolerance for harassment, discrimination, and marginalization of individuals or groups of individuals.
- Show selection
- At least one show or project per season will directly involve BIPOC themes or stories
- We will have an open and transparent process for selecting shows which will be announced on our website and via email.
- Telling the story
- Each show will have thoughtful discussions and/or a specific dramaturg dedicated to understanding the historical or contextual lens of how racism and race play into the show and how actors can relate to those themes
- Production team selection
- We prioritize recruiting a director and production team that reflects the racial/ethnic diversity of the Boston community
- We will seek to create collaborative production teams that foster open dialogue for themselves and cast members on anti-racist themes and other themes of equity, and encourages and is receptive to feedback
- Skylight will ensure that we call back a racially/ethnically representative group for each show (e.g. 30% BIPOC auditionees called back [for non-ethnic specific roles] or re-open auditions if initial group is not representative)
- Casting committee will discuss and create plan for color-conscious casting
- We will make efforts to have a racially diverse casting committee that continues to welcome different perspectives
- We will explore non-traditional avenues to promoting auditions, call for production staff, and for advertising our shows
- We commit to growing our existing fund to support projects with BIPOC artists
- We will open at least 10% of tickets to shows at a reduced rate
- A percentage of our funds will go to stipend to increase accessibility (e.g. travel stipend)
- We commit 10% of ticket sales toward equity and social justice organizations, causes, or initiatives.
- Our board has 29% BIPOC representation and we’re committed to maintaining a board and leadership team that reflects the community,, as well at least 50% female and non-gender conforming representation
- A portion of every board meeting will be dedicated to updates on anti-racism work (e.g. training, etc.), sharing and discussing resources, and improving our policies and processes.
- We welcome and encourage feedback from members and non-members, and will regularly process feedback through various channels (e.g. Website, Facebook)
- Follow this link to an anonymous feedback form (link on website) to share any thoughts you have on this plan and the rest of our work
- In a commitment to address anonymous feedback in a timely manner, will follow up on the iterative process of receiving and incorporating feedback and share to the Skylight community
- Resources we referred to in creating this plan:
- Stage Source – Five Steps Toward Anti-Racism Plan: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.stagesource.org/resource/resmgr/docs/Accountability_Guide_v1.pdf
- Manifestations of White Supremacy Culture: http://www.dismantlingracism.org/uploads/4/3/5/7/43579015/whitesupcul13.pdf
- Stage Source’s compilation of anti-racism policies from New England theatre groups: https://www.stagesource.org/general/custom.asp?page=ar-policies
- Thank you to members of our community, Tessa Berliner and Jude Torres, who encouraged us to be more explicit about our anti-racism focus, and provided valuable input for this plan.