In 2017, as part of our Strategic Planning process we identified eight core values for Antaeus. One of these pillars is Inclusivity:
We are committed to creating a welcoming environment and deeper inclusion within our company. Antaeus strives for diversity through Company membership, Board membership, staff, inclusive casting, choice of artistic material, and through our community engagement. We are a space where all voices are heard.
In 2020, we developed an EDI (Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion) Road Map that was based on this statement. This Road Map was shared internally with the Board, Staff, and Company Members of Antaeus for Accountability and Transparency. Below are the highlights of our progress from 2021/22, as well as some next steps for our EDI work at Antaeus.
FY 2021/22 HIGHLIGHTS:
- Our Library serves as the heart and soul of Antaeus. We secured funding and launched a major effort to expand and diversify our collection by bringing in more work from writers who are underrepresented by incorporating works from other cultures, as well as works from playwrights who are BIPOC, women, and/or part of the LGBTQA+ community. Phase One of this project is underway with cataloguing of our collection schedule for completion in 2023. We are partnering with the City of Glendale Central Library for this project in order to eventually make our collection accessible to our local community. We are seeking funding for Phase Two of this project which will allow us to diversify our collection.
- We selected two playwrights for our inaugural NEXT Commissions, a new play development initiative for BIPOC playwrights. NEXT Commissions were created to amplify historically underrepresented voices and to broaden the scope of the classical theater canon. Through this program, writers will develop original, full-length works inspired by, or in response to, classic plays, historical events and figures of their choosing. Commissioned writers will receive financial, dramaturgical, and logistical support with the goal of producing these plays in upcoming Antaeus seasons. We will announce two new playwrights receiving NEXT Commissions in 2023 soon.
- Our Board of Directors participated in facilitated training with an outside EDI consultant. We have developed a list of Meeting Agreements and Board Member Expectations that have been shared with all current members, and will be shared with any future Board prospects.
- We started an Open Call to serve as a pipeline for our casting of readings and productions. We recognize that our current casting process is a barrier to finding new members and we hope that by opening up our casting process we will be able to meet many wonderful artists we don’t currently know.
- We have developed a Code of Conduct that was distributed internally, and will also be included in all artist offers moving forward. This Code includes information about how to report any issues so they can be handled in a timely and appropriate manner.
Moving forward, our leadership will revisit our progress and set new goals for EDI annually. We have also added a budget line item to support this work at Antaeus.