Today's new voices shaping tomorrow's musicals.
Prospect Theater Company is committed to being an Anti-Racist organization, and to working for positive change within our field and our organization. We affirm our belief in the vision of a more equitable and just community, and our intention to create an inclusive space for making and sharing musical theater.
During June and July 2020, a Board committee convened to develop a detailed Anti-Racism Action Plan, which we share below. We recognize that this work is an ongoing commitment to self-examination and organizational assessment, so that we may identify and change practices that contribute to a culture of white supremacy. The following initial statement is a "living document" which may be updated as our work proceeds. (Last updated May 2022.)
PROSPECT THEATER COMPANY
Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
Prospect is committed to the ongoing practice of fighting racism, and to being an Anti-Racist organization. Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life.
Prospect recognizes that its founding artists, staff leadership, and board members are predominantly white, and acknowledges the long history of racist systems and white privilege within the theater industry. We take responsibility for identifying and changing Prospect’s institutional practices that are informed by and uphold a culture of white supremacy. We have not amplified Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artistic voices with the full strength and awareness that we can, and should.
As a follow-up to our statement of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and commitment to work towards a more equitable and just theatrical community, Prospect formed an Anti-Racism Committee comprised of Staff and Board Members, to meet regularly and maintain focus on progressing towards our goals. In this ongoing journey, we have identified and taken the following actions, which we will continue to assess in an ongoing manner:
We established an advisory council of BIPOC artist members of the Prospect community, to ask for feedback, actively examine past organizational practice, and envision new practices for the future.
Members of this council will engage in discussion around all aspects of Prospect’s mission to develop and produce new musicals, and create platforms for emerging artistic voices.
During the 22-23 Season we plan to pilot bi-monthly "open table" gatherings to further discussion and ideation with the wider Prospect community.
Prospect conducted an internal audit of its past hiring practices from 2015 - 2020, to build a base of data about our staff and artist community.
We assessed the number of BIPOC artists and staff involved in Prospect’s programs, and compensation rates across all programs. This data will inform our budgeting and planning practices moving forward as we continue to track these data points.
We will research and put in place stronger avenues for recruitment and advertising future job opportunities, when they become available, using a wider net to source candidates.
We will explore best practices to provide Anti-Racism training for Prospect’s ever-evolving network of project-based staff and artists, and create strategies and opportunities for engaging our community in this work.
The work outlined above with the constituencies of Prospect’s Artistic Community, Staff and Board, and those we connect with through Outreach and Educational efforts, have directly impacted on Prospect’s artistic programming.
We have increased focus on amplifying Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artist voices creating new musical theater, not only through developmental programs, but in fully-produced endeavors.
We will explore additional performance venues, which may make the company’s work more accessible to expanded artist and audience communities. We will work to assure a positive experience for BIPOC artists and audiences entering each rental performance space.
We will build on Prospect’s commitment to working equitably with partner organizations and affinity groups led by BIPOC artists and change-makers.
At the Board of Directors level, Prospect will provide educational opportunities for its current Board members (which include the company’s Senior Staff leadership).
We will expand Board membership to include greater representation from the BIPOC community.
Anti-Racism work will be an ongoing agenda item at Board meetings, not only a committee effort, with regular check-ins on progress towards our goals.
OUTREACH AND EDUCATION:
Prospect will determine improved educational outreach activities to engage with more and more diverse student communities and early-career professionals.
Prospect will examine its internship opportunities to make sure each program is accessible and equitable in its approach.
Prospect acknowledges that mistakes and missteps in its Anti-Racism work will be inevitable, but we pledge to listen and learn from BIPOC members of our community as we progress in this work. We will annually review and update the above list of action items and goals, with a next update to occur in August 2022.
To report an incident or for access to other resources, visit StopAAPIHate.org.
For Safety Resources and
Bystander Intervention Information:
For additional resources, please click here
to visit the website of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).
In our initial work, we have learned that understanding terms is an essential first step!
Click here for a Glossary of Racial Equity Tools.
Other resources can be accessed on these websites:
For white members of our community, click here to access some starter resources for self-education.