REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
For Workshop Facilitation and Consultation in
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
Date of Issuance: January 18, 2022
General Statement of Work
The Board of Directors at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) is inviting organizations, teams and/or individuals to submit a proposal to the Board’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee to provide training, strategic consultation, and facilitation services to the full Board of Directors to establish a foundation of shared learning and practice; review and redesign of governance procedures; and inspire the commitment and resources needed to promote a sense of dignity, belonging and equity within the HVSF community. The selected facilitator(s) shall provide the tools and resources to design and implement a multi-phase Board training with the Board EDI Committee that both grounds and supports HVSF’s commitments to anti-racism, inclusion and belonging.
HVSF History, Mission & Core Values
HVSF Mission Statement
Rooted in the landscape of the Hudson Valley, with the plays of William Shakespeare as our touchstone, HVSF engages the widest possible audience in a theatrical celebration of our shared humanity.
We are a classical repertory theater that embraces the present moment, and our work springs from the most essential of elements — actor, audience, language, and landscape. As both a local community hub and a national arts destination, we foster meaningful human connections at the convergence of nature and culture.
HVSF Core Values
Excellence, Inclusion, Generosity, Playfulness, Sustainability
Founded in 1987, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is a critically acclaimed, professional, non-profit theater company based in Garrison, NY. The Festival has established a reputation for lucid, engaging, and highly inventive productions staged under this iconic, open-air Theater Tent overlooking the Hudson River at historic Boscobel House and Gardens. In recent years, the Festival has also ventured beyond the Tent, touring its work to other venues throughout the Hudson Valley, transferring productions to other theaters, engaging its community through radically participatory art-making, and reaching over 15,000 students and educators annually through its year-round Education programs. Over the years, HVSF’s exuberantly irreverent productions have gained a devoted following. Critics from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal have applauded the clarity, energy, wit, and imagination of our productions, and the unique and playful nature of the actor-audience relationship under the tent. Every summer, over 35,000 friends and supporters come together under this tent to enjoy vibrant productions in one of the most unique and exciting performance venues in the American Theater. In 2019, philanthropist Chris Davis offered HVSF 98 acres of river-view property in Garrison to create its first-ever permanent home. In 2021, HVSF was one of the very first theaters to re-open in New York State after a long absence due to the Covid Pandemic. The company continues to move forward in planning for a permanent tent-theater overlooking the Hudson, to open in the 2024 summer season.
Ongoing Institutional EDI and Anti-Racism Commitments
At HVSF, inclusiveness is one of our core values and our work is based on the idea that this theater, that Shakespeare, belongs to everyone. However, in practice, as a predominantly white organization, this has historically been far from the truth. HVSF acknowledges that to be truly inclusive, we can and must do better. As an organization, HVSF has begun the long-term process to center the work of anti-racism in what we do and commit to becoming a more inclusive community of dignity and belonging. Since 2020, HVSF has been purposeful and thoughtful in dedicating time and resources to support staff education, training and on-going meaningful dialogue with colleagues and partners, such as Nicole Brewer and Kirya Traber. In these commitments to build a shared understanding and language, we have begun the process of examining our current practices and making necessary changes in our practices of hiring, casting, training, self-education, and programming and in the development of authentic relationships with community partners. We established a Code of Community, with our artists and theater makers under the tent, following four principles that reflect our conviction that mutual respect and trust are essential to the freedom and playfulness that characterize our best work together. We acknowledge that through our actions and institutional procedures, we have upheld established systems of white supremacy and patriarchy and through the Code, actively work towards dismantling these practices and advancing the work of anti-racism and anti-harassment throughout our entire organization. More information about our ongoing actions and commitments may be found here June 2021, November 2020 and June 2020.
SCOPE OF WORK
FOUNDATION, TRANSFORMATION AND LEADERSHIP
Within HVSF’s journey and process in anti-racism work and inclusion, we acknowledge that engagement with the Board of Directors has been limited, thus far. There is a broad spectrum of knowledge, experience and training in EDI and Anti-Racism work, within the Board of Directors at HVSF. We hope to see this facilitation and training build a shared vocabulary, identify steps to begin acting on concerns, and establish self-sustaining systems that keep EDI and Anti-Racism work centered in our governance and institutional leadership for the Board, to supplement, support and complement the ongoing work currently evolving across the HVSF community-at large.
We invite the respondents to propose plans that will provide context and understanding about your, or your firm’s, philosophies in this work. Your proposal must answer the following questions
- What is your, or your firm’s, process?
- What is your, or your firm’s, facilitation style?
- What has been a successful and effective model of starting this work with participants coming from varied experience and training in this work?
- How do you, or your firm, propose to introduce this work at the ground level to the Board and tie into the ongoing growth in this work at HVSF?
The following are suggested areas we have identified as topics for learning and guidance, for your proposals.
Workshops & Training
Topics covered during a foundational workshop and training may include, but are not limited to:
- Historical context of race and racism and its impact today and on the theater industryWhy EDI and Anti-Racism work and rebuilding our systems is important to HVSF now and into the future
- Creating and implementing processes that give all participants voice
- How EDI learning is different from Anti-Racism learning
- Understanding implicit bias
- Exploring the intersectionality of racism, classism, sexism, LGBTQIA+, ableism, gender identity, climate emergency, xenophobia, etc.
- Identifying and centering marginalized perspectives to support a thriving environment of inclusion for all — on the Board, on staff, and on stage.
Providing context and guidance to the committee to establish sustainable systems of activation may include, but is not limited to:
- Review surveys and assessments completed to date and offer feedback for next steps in collaboration with executive leadership and the Board Committee
- Perform any necessary additional Board surveys, assessments and EDI and Anti-Racism audits – to establish tools to support planning
- Debrief and plan next steps following all trainings
- Foster a broad and meaningful Board commitment to EDI and Anti-Racism
- Implement ongoing “exercises” for all participants to continue stretching EDI and Anti Racism “muscles”
- Understanding current Board composition and exploring needs for future representation
- Define the role of the Board in the institutional EDI and Anti-Racism ecosystem
- Find ways to fold EDI & Anti-Racism work into ongoing Board dialogue and function
- Governance Practices
- Embrace disruption to re-envision, co-design and model new practices
Schedule check-ins with committee to review and assess commitments in building a healthier ecology, board-driven implementation, and measurable impact on the organization.
SUBMISSION AND SELECTION PROCESS
Each respondent must comply with the submission requirements as outlined below.
Proposals must be received no later than date and time stated below. Late submittals will be not be accepted.
- Who is qualified to submit
- Individuals operating as independent contractors
- Non-profit entities
- For-profit, private entities
- Preference is given to firms or individuals, with experience working with performing arts institutions, special event venues and/or cultural institutions
- Practical Merits
- We invite applying firms and/or individuals to share their certifications, trainings, qualifications and/or practice in the field of work or related field of work.
- Proposals that exemplify the following traits shall be weighted
- Understands diversity is making space for all beliefs that build community o Understands that training should challenge, but cannot alienate
- Understands that building a future together can mean recognizing and preserving foundational strengths and assets, while letting go of practices that impede progress
- Selection Schedule
- RFP Released January 18, 2022
- Proposals Due February 4, 2022
- Review/Final Applicant Interviews Week of February 15, 2022 o Board Recommendation & Approval February 26, 2022
- Notice of Selection February 27, 2022
- Contract Execution March 1, 2022
- Schedule Kick-Off Workshops March 7, 2022
- Proposal shall:
- Be submitted electronically as a PDF, no more than twelve (12) pages and in 12 pt. font
- The name of facilitator(s), firm and contact information
- Design, engagement activities, services, management of implementation, outcomes, tools, and proposed timeline
- Overall project budget, separately breaking out fees and expenses for Workshops/Training; Ongoing Consultation; and Accountability Meetings. Include expenses that are the responsibility of HVSF
- Responsibilities of consultant(s) and HVSF
- Resumes or biographies of each facilitator who will work on project
- List up to three references; may include testimonials and/or anecdotes from clients about the experience and impact of working with the facilitator/firm
Proposals will be reviewed by the HVSF EDI Board Committee and evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Clarity of proposal and engaging overall design for facilitation
- Capability of establishing an effective working relationship with HVSF EDI committee • Knowledge of performing arts organizations and/or cultural organizations
- Budget and costs
- Reputation in designing similar organizational retreats and EDI/Anti-Racism plans
Proposals and Questions can be addressed to:
Kate Liberman, Managing Director
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
P.O. Box 125 | Garrison, NY 10524
Proposals need to be submitted no later than 6pm, Friday, February 4, 2022.