Since sharing our Solidarity Statement in June, we have met three times weekly as a staff and with the support of our Board of Directors to ask ourselves and each other how we can further move toward anti-oppressive workspaces, rehearsal halls, audience experiences, and create meaningful succession planning, including advancing IBPOC women* within our industry. (*Our organizational understanding of women goes beyond the limits of cis womanhood, a deep belief that we have been working to embed in our values and artistic expression.)
Having spent this time together examining our institution, and under the advice of Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism (AOAR) consultant Rania el Mugammar, we recognize that our hunger for sustainable transformation must be matched by our muscle, consistent energy and financial commitment.
Our update at this time is as follows:
- In March 2020, Nightwood’s co-executives, Board chair and a representative from the Board commenced Anti-Oppression Strategic Planning training with Rania el Mugammar offered through b current performing arts.
- As recommended, Nightwood implemented a budget line specifically for AOAR activities in our 2020-21 budget and will continue to maintain this line moving forward.
- In July 2020 Nightwood staff attended Rania el Mugammar’s AOAR training session Doing the Work: Radical Solidarity for a Collective Future.
- We have booked further AOAR training with Rania el Mugammar for Nightwood staff and Board on October 2, 2020, with a follow up session in January 2021.
- Nightwood’s staff have met regularly, creating a twenty-page document of actions and provocations to distil and prioritize. From these discoveries, we have highlighted actions and have drafted an evolving four-year work plan, and are in the process of engaging a facilitator to review these aims with the Board of Directors and staff.
- Once we have arrived at consensus with our work plan, we will begin its implementation and evaluate our progress along the way and make appropriate adjustments as needed.
- We have requested Rania el Mugammar to facilitate our next Strategic Plan through an Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism lens at her next availability (2021) to help us shape our many aims and create a map for measurable, transformative, and sustainable change.
We intend to post the living document of our AOAR implementation plan on our website once we have completed our fall AOAR training with Nightwood’s Staff and Board. We welcome your thoughts, feelings, questions, and critiques, and will enable anonymous commenting on the living document once it is posted.
In conclusion, Nightwood aims to deepen our embodiment of intersectional feminism, working to instil a culture of openness and accountability. As individuals and as a company we are learning and unlearning, and wish to be at the forefront of this conversation and moment of great change.
All of us at Nightwood Theatre