At Palo Alto Players, we put community first. We ensure everyone who walks through our doors feels welcomed and valued, because we believe that people matter. We believe that theatre matters. We believe that theatre should matter to more people.
We hold ourselves to the highest standards in every area of production and operation, by creating a supportive environment for artists, staff, and volunteers to do their best work.
We celebrate our legacy and cultivate our future by using the resources entrusted to us responsibly and efficiently.
We embrace our community’s rich diversity in our programming, on our stage, and in our audiences. We believe the best possible theatre experience belongs to everybody.
We believe that the lives of all are transformed by access to and participation in theatre. We are committed to removing barriers and creating opportunities.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The ongoing pandemic and the murder of George Floyd and so many others have laid bare centuries-old systems of inequity and injustice that exist in our country and our communities, and have ignited a global movement demanding long overdue change to our institutions. This is a transformative moment for our country, our community, and Palo Alto Players.
We are especially moved by the activism from our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists around the country and our own Bay Area theatre community insisting that we as individuals and theater companies (large and small) do our part not only in words and statements of solidarity, but in meaningful action. We hear and accept this call to action – to do better, to do more – we will.
While much uncertainty remains about how soon we can reopen our doors or welcome artists back to the rehearsal hall, what is certain is that we need to start now to address structural inequities and bias that prevent us from fully being representative of the community that we serve and an inclusive space where all cultures, experiences, and identities are welcomed and valued.
We acknowledge that advancing equity and dismantling racism requires change from within, so our staff and board commit to prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across the organization and today we are sharing the first actionable steps we are taking toward this commitment.
- Investing in D.E.I. (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and Implicit Bias training for our staff and board members and completing training by June 30, 2021.
- Engaging a D.E.I. consultant to facilitate listening sessions with our community and to help guide our process for change.
- Forming a D.E.I. committee of staff, artists, and board members to regularly review how we are doing and hold the organization accountable.
- Performing a self-assessement of administrative and artistic process, policies, and practices through an equity and anti-racist lens.
- Working with the D.E.I. committee and consultant to ensure specific policies and procedures are in place to uphold and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
- Making a collective commitment to advancing equity with Silicon Valley nonprofits in the community-at-large by signing the Nonprofit Equity Pledge.
We recognize that this is just the beginning of an ongoing journey and as we move forward, it is inevitable that we will stumble, but we will keep trying. Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, so we must all hold ourselves accountable, because acknowledging and challenging our inequities and working in partnership is how we will make change happen.
To those that have raised your voice, shared your stories, and called for change – we THANK YOU. We look forward to sharing our progress and welcome your feedback along the way.
– The Palo Alto Players Board of Directors and Staff
We acknowledge the authors of Americans for the Arts equity pledge for their inspiration: https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2016/about/cultural_equity/ARTS_CulturalEquity_updated.pdf