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An oasis for those who love classic stories. Los Angeles Times

Accountability

We are living through confusing and heartbreaking times. As a theatre company, we have seen first-hand the power that stories have to encourage empathy, increase understanding, and help us recognize everyone’s humanity. Our stage should be a platform for classic stories from all backgrounds, cultures, and voices.

We are committed to doing the work necessary to move toward a more inclusive and just future.


EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION POLICY:

The Policy establishes a framework to identify the roles, responsibilities, and goals of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Program. While the entire organization shares responsibility for the collaborative pursuit of these goals, several areas of the organization have specific responsibilities that support the ongoing implementation, monitoring, review, and reporting of the EDI Policy.

Board of Directors Objectives:

  • Recruit Board candidates of diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Support and empower the Governance Committee, EDI Committee, Artistic Department

Governance Committee Objectives:

  • Assure that the Board of Directors reflects the range of diversity within ANW’s community
  • Continually recruit, identify, and interview Board candidates that meet the identified criteria for election to the Board, and that embody and support the organization’s EDI goals
  • Offer nominations to the Board of Directors

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Objectives:

  • Identify, prioritize, and respond to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, including representation, access, and education involving ANW
  • Listen to issues about EDI at ANW and suggest appropriate training workshops and other activities to surface conversations around those issues
  • Plan agenda topics for meetings of the full company — to include Board members, the Artistic Department, Resident Artists, and staff
  • Ensure an EDI issue reporting pathway is clear from each ANW constituent group to the EDI Committee
  • Ensure any EDI issues that are reported—and their resulting outcomes—are communicated to the organization
  • Staff the Committee with at least 2-3 Board members, 2-3 staff members, 2-3 Resident Artists, and one member of ANW’s executive leadership (Artistic Directors and Management)
  • Provide an EDI annual report to the Board of Directors at their first meeting each fiscal year, and status updates as needed
  • Conduct monthly meetings
  • Collaborate with other areas of the organization to brainstorm strategies to continually monitor and meet EDI goals

Artistic Department Objectives:

  • Hire directors according to the values expressed in the EDI Policy
  • Assist those directors in hiring their own creative teams and casts considering the organization’s core values of equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Ensure community-representative casting
  • Partner with demographically specific theatre companies to expand the pools of artistic talent and enhance our mutual success
  • Be present where discussions of theatrical diversity are happening to absorb new knowledge, contribute to the conversation, and to encourage action
  • Hire artistic team members from a variety of backgrounds
  • Engage in play selection with a commitment to honoring the EDI values of the organization
  • Recruit artistic team members with a variety of backgrounds

Resident Artist Objectives:

  • Heighten opportunities for Resident Artists to meet and cast members of underrepresented groups in Resident Artist Readings to broaden inclusive participation in the Readings
  • Engage in play selection with a commitment to honoring the EDI values of the organization

Staff Objectives:

  • Maintain a work culture that promotes EDI
  • Maintain a work culture that balances accommodating the organization to the individual and the individual to the organization; as opposed to requiring new staff to conform to an existing culture
  • Incorporate EDI best practices in recruiting for all positions such as:
    • Welcoming equivalent experience as equal to formal education
    • Practicing salary transparency in all job postings
  • Assure that pathways exist for all staff to express feedback regarding organizational culture and its relationship to EDI
  • Assure that the internal and external identity of the institution is one that reflects the EDI values of the organization, for example, in marketing images and online copy

Read our full Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy here.


EQUITY, DIVERSITY, & INCLUSION COMMITTEE:

ANW’s Board of Directors recognized the need for expanding discussion and action around equity, diversity, and inclusion. The EDI Committee was established and assumed the responsibilities for EDI oversight from the Executive Committee.

Mission:

The purpose of the EDI Committee is to expand upon ANW’s core mission to enrich its community, by building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization and audience, and establishing a theater community that represents, reflects, and celebrates the rich human diversity of our Southern California home.

Activities:

  • To identify, prioritize, and respond to issues of EDI, including representation, access, and education involving ANW
  • To listen to issues about EDI at ANW and suggest appropriate training workshops and other activities to surface conversations around those issues
  • Plan agenda topics for meetings of the full company (including RAs, board members, and staff)

Procedures:

  • Meets monthly for 90 minutes
  • Members include: 2-3 board members; 2-3 staff members, and 2-3 Resident Artists; one member of ANW’s executive leadership (Artistic Directors and Managing Director) will be present at each meeting
  • Members are asked to serve for at least one full season, July through June

Current Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee Members:

Jay Lesiger, EDI Committee Chair & Board Member
Armando Gonzalez, Board Member
Kasey Mahaffy, Resident Artist
Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, Staff Member
Cynthia Nunes, Board Member
Carolyn Ratteray, Resident Artist
Samantha Sintef, Staff Member & Resident Artist
Erika Soto, Resident Artist
Deborah Strang, Staff Member & Resident Artist
 

ACTIONS TO DATE:

  • We actively work to include more playwrights, artists, staff, and patrons of color in all of our work in order to build a theatre that reflects the diversity of our city.
  • We are committed to producing August Wilson’s entire ten-play American Century Cycle.
  • Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) values are baked into our strategic plan, holding every department accountable to upholding these shared values.
  • Board, staff, and Resident Artists sit on ANW’s EDI Committee, proposing strategies and accountability tools for championing equity throughout our organization.
  • Our Board, staff, and Resident Artists engage in ongoing EDI workshops to ensure that our organization’s EDI values remain a part of ANW’s DNA.
  • We recognize and embrace theatre as a tool for social change. In addition to illuminating the power of classics to engage with our current political moment, Noise Now (launched in February 2019) is an initiative rooted in community partnership and in expanding the definition of “classic” to include the most diverse range of voices possible.
  • Over the past year, we have produced 12 events (Gem of the Ocean and 11 Noise Now events) and 3 art exhibitions celebrating communities of color.
  • In July 2019, we partnered with three Los Angeles-based theatre companies, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, East West Players, and Latino Theater Company, for the free reading festival, inVision.
  • In November 2019, we partnered with Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter co-founder) and Reform LA Jails to host a Day Party & Mental Health Summit.

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