June 10, 2020
A Commitment to Action
The Geekenders want to acknowledge that we are failing to reflect the diversity in our community in our work. We have upheld and re-perpetuated white norms and a whitewashed form of media in our work. We must do better. We have acted too slowly to correct this failure. We are committing to the following specific changes as our next step forward, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable for these commitments we are sharing this with our community:
1. We recognize that significant barriers of privilege in place along the professional artist education and development pipeline has disproportionately affected IBPOC performers, and our first step to challenging this inequity will be to expand our educational mandate. As part of our 2020/21 season we will be creating no-cost low-barrier training, mentorship, skills development, and guaranteed paid stage time for new and emerging IBPOC performers. Our initial vision includes training workshops and one-on-one coaching made available in conjunction with our regular cabaret and musical productions, as well as the hiring of established IBPOC performers to work with us as guest coaches and teachers.
2. We will embrace colour-conscious casting principals in all productions going forward. The white-as-default status quo is not acceptable. As producers of satire, we must not repeat the mistakes of the media which we satirize. By our 2021/22 season we intend to cast a majority of IBPOC performers in every production.
3.We will hire and feature more IBPOC creatives in leadership roles (Directing,Writing, Choreography, Programming, etc.). We will also hire, support, and offer training to IBPOC artists interested in exploring entry-level and mid-career leadership roles.
4.We will review and add to these commitments in an ongoing and proactive capacity. While we invite feedback from our community on specific ways we can do better, we recognize the onus is on us as artists and producers to lead the way and put in the work.
This work is urgent and it is on us all to act. Please go to blacklivesmatter.com to educate yourself on how YOU can help end systemic racsim.
- The Geekenders Team