Earlier this month, we shared a statement about our ongoing commitment to becoming a more anti-racist and inclusive organization. Our mission is dedicated to conversation, and we’re grateful for the many conversations we have had in response. Over the past several weeks, we’ve started the process of examining our current practices and identifying necessary changes.
We make the commitment to take the following concrete steps at HVSF:
1. SELF-EDUCATION — HVSF will hold bi-weekly meetings with our year-round staff for education, introspection, and moderated discussions based on required readings focused on racial justice. HVSF will also undertake anti-racism and implicit bias education for staff, teaching artists, and board members;
2. CASTING — HVSF commits to color-conscious casting across the season and in each particular production — on our mainstage, in HVSF2, and in education and community programming;
3. PROGRAMMING — In addition to the artists working onstage, HVSF commits to centering underrepresented voices by hiring and commissioning more BIPOC artists to lead the creative process as directors, designers, and playwrights;
4. HIRING — HVSF is committed to more fully reflect the communities we are called to serve, across all aspects of our organization. This includes administrative staff, production staff, teaching artists, and board members. We will provide more transparent information in posted job descriptions (including salaries), and eliminate requirements that may discourage qualified BIPOC candidates from applying;
5. TRAINING — We commit to increasing the compensation for members of our Generation Next training programs (including the Conservatory Company and technical and administrative internships) so that these opportunities are accessible to all talented students, not just those who can afford to work for less than a livable wage. We redouble our commitment to recruit diverse talent for these educational and training programs, and provide BIPOC participants with the support they need and deserve;
6. COMMUNITY — HVSF commits to developing authentic relationships with a wider group of community partners in the Hudson Valley and listening deeply to those partners as we develop new programming to better serve the many Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities that call the Hudson Valley home.
We recognize that these initial actions are only a beginning. We will make mistakes and continue learning as part of an ongoing process. We are grateful to you, our community, for holding us accountable. Twice annually, in March and November, we will update our website to detail the actions we have taken and the additional steps ahead. Thank you for your continued partnership as we move forward towards a more equitable and inclusive HVSF.