The Shotgun EDIB Committee
2021 Accomplishments (as of August 2021):
In 2021, Shotgun Players worked hard to increase accessibility, improve our non-violent communication skills, and strengthen diversity in the stories we tell, as well as within our storytellers.
- We've been working with the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust on a land acknowledgement mural to adorn the exterior wall of the Ashby Stage. We're currently in the process of interviewing artists, and we plan to unveil the new mural this fall. Stay tuned for updates.
- We've committed to centering BIPOC representation as we onboard new staff, board members, and designers. We recognize a lack of diversity in our core staff, and we’ve reimagined the position of Associate Artistic Director to make room for better representation on the leadership level.
- We've drafted a new casting commitments document to fortify our goals to diversify our hiring and casting practices to center BIPOC artists. Our new casting director will be actively working on artist outreach, advocacy and representation efforts, and holding these evolutions in our casting policy.
- We've designed a new first rehearsal protocol that centers the needs of the people and works to dismantle harmful practices. We have committed to putting the needs of our people first.
- We're working with several outside organizations to provide anti-bias, microaggression, and bystander training to every contracted artist, technician, staff, company, and board member.
- In an ongoing effort to better care for our community and our artists, we have postponed My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre . We felt a responsibility to protect the health and well-being of our Shotgun Players audience, staff, and artists while we continue to navigate this pandemic.
Furthering Our Education:
The organization has identified certain training (Moderator, De-escalation, Bystander, Sexual Harassment, Non-Violent Communication, Crisis & Conflict Managment, First Aid & CPR, etc.) that will be mandatory, depending on job description, for each employee. The EDIB Com will help to research, identify, and evaluate each training tool or process.
The organization has added a new objective to increase the sense of belonging for our patrons, staff, artists, company, and board members. The EDIB Com will help identify areas in which we can increase the sense of belonging. We are continuing to investigate what belonging means for Shotgun Players.
Accessibility & Inclusion:
- Artists: The organization strives to better support and provide access to artists with disabilities that are already in our community, including those with invisible disabilities. Initiatives include making font types larger on sides during auditions, making sides available prior to auditions to give artists time to prepare and do their best work, making video auditions an alternative to in-person, and expanding our rehearsal and tech process to allow for more humane and sustainable hours for our creative teams. We will continue to offer virtual access to internal meetings.
- Patrons: The EDIB Com will work with staff to make all areas of our organization accessible. We will continue to offer streaming and virtual access to our productions, and offer closed captioning, assisted hearing devices, haptic tours, and audio-described performances. And we will work toward adding an ASL interpreted performance for each production of our 31st Season.
The organization has made a commitment to protecting our artists and staff members during the pandemic, and beyond. The EDIB Com will continue to find ways to financially support artists who were part of canceled or postponed projects. The EDIB Com will continue to make sure Shotgun’s guidelines and policies align with our values, particularly people first.
Strengthen our Identity and Profile:
The EDIB Com will focus and clarify its charter so it can successfully lead and be aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives. Progress and actions will be regularly updated on the EDIB page of the Shotgun Players’ website.
Review and Revise Organization Policies and Procedures:
The Shotgun Players is still in the midst of a process of evaluating and improving the way it engages with our internal and external communities. The EDIB Com is here to ensure these new policies uphold the highest standards of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
And in other EDIB News...
The Shotgun Players Board of Directors established a separate EDIB (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging) Committee in August 2020. The Shotgun Players Board EDIB Committee's purpose is to implement activities that support all board members to promote the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging by identifying strategies to remove systemic bias from our board culture. Our goals are to ensure that the board culture is safe and welcoming to all, regardless of age, race, gender/sexual identity, religion, ability, and socioeconomic/financial status.