Note:This statement about the anti-racist work we have done, and the actionable steps we will continue to take, is an ever-evolving draft. We acknowledge that we will never finish doing this work. To reflect that, we will continue to adjust and edit this statement as we progress in our organizational anti-racism journey. Our hope is that in doing so, we will keep our audience and community up to date with the work we’re doing, and keep our practices as transparent as possible.
To understand our practices of decision making, refer to this document, which details how we make budgetary, artistic and organizational decisions.
Shattered Globe Theatre is aware of the deep necessity for anti-racism work in our theater and we are committed to educating ourselves, learning and becoming a more transparent and antiracist organization.
Since June of 2020, we have noted the call of the We See You White American Theatre collective and listened to the concerns and the righteous anger of many artists and professionals of color whom we work with in the theater community. We acknowledge that racism and white supremacy are pervasive elements in our daily lives because they are integral to the history of the United States. We pledge to take decisive steps in an effort to dismantle the legacies of whiteness and thereby to contribute to the creation of a truly democratic and socially just United States.
Change for the better, along with the creation of truly dignified and humane worlds, is possible. As a theater, we can call upon our artistic and professional powers to enact new possibilities. Our art can show us the way toward securing the lasting and authentic transformation toward racial equality and social justice that we are determined to pursue.
We acknowledge that this is a long, ongoing process. SGT will continue to learn as we commit to the essential work of dismantling racial superiority and all the hierarchies of domination in order to achieve a truly democratic, egalitarian and admirable theater.
These are the steps we have already taken: Many of the things we have already accomplished have been internal to the folks already part of our company. To see a full breakdown of what we are currently working on, both internally and in reimagining our structures & procedures, see below.
A line item for antiracism personnel and training has been established in the yearly budget. At present, we know that the added positions will include an “EDI officer” (wording from #WeSeeYouWAT) for the rehearsals, as well as funds for continuing antiracism training for ensemble, board and artists who are working with us.
SGT Board, Ensemble and Staff have committed to ongoing antiracism training. As of April 8, 2021, twenty-one ensemble and Board members have attended “Introduction to Systemic Racism” training by CROAR (Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training) to establish a working vocabulary, as well as a basic knowledge of the history of racism in our country and the insidiousness with which racism embeds itself into our social relations; four ensemble and Board members attended a similar workshop led by CROAR; six staff, Ensemble and Board were part of activist/artist Nicole Brewer’s training which established a foundational knowledge of how racism presents itself in our art form. One staff and one ensemble member attended Bystander Intervention & Prevention Training by ALSO (Alliance of Local Service Organizations), and a staff member attended a Land Acknowledgement workshop. And one ensemble member attended Hollaback’s Bystander Intervention to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harrassment.
An SGT Anti-Racism Committee of two staff members, four ensemble members and one board member has been meeting weekly since June of 2020 to develop policy which will be presented to a newly recruited paid Anti-Racism Advisory Committee. The SGT Anti-Racism Committee is also tasked with presenting new articles and ideas to the ensemble and Board for their continued education. The Anti-Racism Advisory Committee is composed of BIPOC artists, many of whom have worked with SGT previously. These artists are paid to share their expertise and opinions, and to help the SGT Anti-Racism Committee form new policy as we endeavor to permanently diversify the voices in the Ensemble.
SGT has reached out with a survey to ensemble, associate artists, the last three cohorts of proteges and all artists who have worked with SGT in the last three years for their input and reflections on the working environment SGT has created. 120 surveys were sent and there was a 35% return.
What’s next for us?
Internal Tasks (Education & work for current Ensemble, Staff & Board members)
A refining of SGT’s Mission Statement, aimed at both more accurately stating our values and goals, as well as underlining the importance of anti-racism work in the ensemble theater space
Create a land acknowledgement and acknowledgement of BIPOC labor to be read at the beginning of every rehearsal, and before every performance
Create strategy for consistent EDI/Anti-Racism training for staff, ensemble, board and contracted artists
Create a recurring position as EDI Specialist for each SGT Production.
Create guidelines for intervention/disruption, specifically for talkbacks.
Develop a plan for an annual anti-racism audit
Develop a plan for annual evaluation of executive leadership
Develop a succession plan
Tasks to Restructure the Company:
An audit of all SGT’s vendors will be done to prioritize businesses owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs, local businesses and those who, after researching, support Black Lives Matter and other BIPOC causes.
An examination of Ensemble Membership and pathways to membership within Shattered Globe. At present, SGT has 29 Ensemble members, with only 3 of those members identifying as BIPOC. The ensemble experience is one of the core values of the theater, and all members recognize the importance of providing access to ensemble membership for BIPOC artists, as well examining the ways SGT’s membership process has historically favored white artists.
This will go hand in hand with a similar examination of policy around Artistic Associates. SGT currently has 19 associate artists, 5 of whom identify as BIPOC.
Our goal is to create new, transparent policy about roles of Ensemble and Artistic Associates, the path to Ensemble membership, and the company’s relationship with the unique Protégé Program (which already has a written commitment to cast at least 50% of artists who identify as BIPOC).
It is our goal to expand membership in a thoughtful, intentional and sustainable way, while continuing to support the ensemble and welcome and collaborate with more BIPOC artists.
Research and create connections with Indigenous groups and organizations across Illinois and in Chicago and investigate ways we can partner with and support them.
Build a working relationship with a BIPOC Casting Director and a BIPCOC marketing consultant.
Research options for BIPOC owned printers, press contacts and videographers.
Write transparent hiring guidelines.
Create a strategy for collaborating with more BIPOC designers & production staff
Write strategy for decolonizing ticket practices
Write a sample agreement between AD & Guest directors
Re-evaluate minimum gift for board of directors membership, and create strategy with Board of Directors to diversify the board.
Adjust tech schedule to eliminate 10 out of 12s.
Create a transparent conflict resolution path
Develop a transparent workplace Code of Conduct and Harm Reduction plan
Re-evaluate the Season Selection process
As recent political events have revealed, America is saturated with racial and sexual violence and white militarized supremacy, realities that are deeply rooted in our society. The attempted coup on January 6, 2021 was an overt and hostile opposition of the norms of constitutional democracy along with the values that animate demands for racial equity and justice. The defense of democracy, the uplifting of social justice, and the dismantling of racial hierarchy requires vocal advocates and allies from all sectors of our neighborhoods, communities and cities. SGT pledges to oppose all manifestations of white supremacy and racial injustice and to add our voice, in the name of justice and freedom, to calls for eradicating racism, wherever and whenever it may emerge in our lives.