Our Antiracism Work
June 2020: We Assembled an Antiracism Action Committee
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, in June, Theatre Horizon leadership assembled an action committee composed of Board members and staff to create an antiracist action plan with measureable goals and clear, public systems of accountability. We seek to shift Theatre Horizon’s culture from one that has prioritized values of inclusion and empathy in the past to one that goes further to be actively and explicitly antiracist.
Also in June, a collective of over 300 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) theater makers known as “We See you White American Theater” issued a letter addressing the systemic racism in our field. In July, a list of demands was published for institutions across the theater world.
At Theatre Horizon, we have heard the call. We recognize that we are part of White American Theatre that has caused harm to the BIPOC community and we accept the call to transform. The list of demands identified in “We See You W.A.T” is an opportunity for our industry that we hope leads to radical change to dismantle white supremacist systems. We want to be part of that change.
September 2020: We Publicly Shared Our Antiracism Action Plan
In the name of transparency and accountability, on September 30, 2020, we publicly shared our plan of action. We are committed to the hard work necessary to be an antiracist theater for our community. If you would like to talk more about this work with us, feel free to email Nell at Nell@TheatreHorizon.org. We will continue to publish updates on this work at the increments of time identified in the plan.
Thank you for being with us in this important work.
This antiracist action plan is a living, breathing document that will be edited and expanded overtime as we continue to learn.
Our goal in doing this work is to shift Theatre Horizon’s culture from one that has upheld the institutionalized centering of whiteness to one that actively works to dismantle it.
Theatre Horizon was founded with a belief in producing art for a diverse population, with inclusion and empathy at the core of its mission. Compelled by a desire to support a renaissance of Norristown’s cultural and economic health, these values have guided us in forming relationships with community partners, ancillary programming that has brought attention to food scarcity and homelessness in Norristown, and using our performances to activate social change through voter registration and census outreach. We continue to offer $2 tickets to Norristown Neighbors and ACCESS Card holders, and conduct “Relaxed Performances”: two initiatives designed to create a welcoming space for more people. However, we now recognize that values of inclusion and empathy are not enough.
We need to work to be actively and explicitly antiracist. We have fallen short in creating true racial parity among our staff (currently 20% BIPOC) and among our board (currently 12% BIPOC). While we have featured diverse artistic teams in our rehearsal rooms, this diversity has not extended to Executive-level positions. We recognize that we have (often unwittingly) upheld white supremacist culture1 in the ways that we fundraise, our governance structures, and our hiring practices. We need to do better.
The creation of this document is an active process that consists of several phases. In early June 2020, the Theatre Horizon staff began brainstorming antiracist actions we could take to move the institution forward. We brought the Board of Directors into this conversation on June 8th and developed an Antiracist Action Committee of Board and Staff that began meeting weekly. In August, this committee produced a draft of the plan and hired anti-oppression facilitators, BIPOC artists, BIPOC board members and BIPOC audience members to review and give feedback. Edits were made by the committee in response to this feedback and discussed by the full board in early September 2020.
We acknowledge that we need help. In order to hold ourselves accountable to change, key action items include making new systems for anonymous feedback, regular antiracist action committee meetings to incorporate what we’ve learned into this document, and hiring a third party to assess and revise this plan, as well as creating more long-term actions beyond 2023.
We recognize that antiracist work is never done. There is no checklist. We follow the belief of Ibram X. Kendi that the terms “racist “and “antiracist” are “like peelable nametags that are placed and replaced based on what someone is doing or not doing, supporting or expressing in each moment” (Kendi, Ibram X, How to be an Antiracist, p. 23). The goal of this plan is to make more of what we do, support, and express, explicitly antiracist and to build in opportunities for persistent self-examination.
This document was inspired by the work of: Nicole Brewer for her Conscientious Theatre Training, ArtEquity facilitators Faith Jones-Jackson and Amy Smith, the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) collective of artists who created “We See You, White American Theatre” (referred to as “We See you, W.A.T.” in this document), Michael Bobbit and his antiracist action plan for New Rep Theatre, Ibram X. Kendi, adrienne maree brown, and the creators of the Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia.Many people contributed to the making of this document including: Nell Bang-Jensen, Ang Bey, Kareem Brantley, Bryan Buttler, Rachel Camp, Zaina Dana, Matt Decker, Rebecca May Flowers, Cara Frisina, Tamanya M. M. Garza, Noelle Diane Johnson, Emily Jolley, Zandra Maffett, Hallie Martenson, Zuhairah McGill, LaNeshe Miller-White, Amanda Morton, Dawn Navarro, Rebecca Noon, Erlina Ortiz, Gina Pisasale, Diane Reilly, Erin Reilly, Mydera Taliah Robinson, Gabriela Sanchez, Jim Schneider, Deanna Shelton, Tabitha Stewart, Robert Vogel, and Andrea Wikerd.
1 white supremacy culture—or the systemic, institutionalized centering of whiteness
March 2021: We Released a 6-Month Progress Report as Outlined in Our Plan
THEATRE HORIZON ANTIRACISM ACTION PLAN
6-MONTH PROGRESS REPORT
On September 30, 2020, we published an antiracism action plan: a living, breathing document that will be edited and expanded overtime as we continue to learn how the implementation of antiracist initiatives resonate within our organization and community. Our goal is to ensure ongoing commitment to the evolving conversation surrounding equity, inclusion, and access.
Inspired by “We See You W.A.T” our goal in doing this work is to establish a culture at Theatre Horizon that dismantles the institutionalized centering of whiteness. Over 30 people contributed to the creation of the antiracist action plan. Their names can be found here.
The first timeframe in which we promised to update the public about our actions is 6-months since the plan’s initial publication. The purpose of this progress report is to provide external accountability for where we are in achieving these goals.
If you would like to talk more about this work with us, feel free to email Nell at Nell@TheatreHorizon.org. We will continue to publish updates on this work at the increments of time identified in the plan.
In the name of transparency, the list below details what we said we would accomplish in the first 6-months of the plan, and where we are now. The original action items are listed with information in italics about what has been accomplished:
Create an anonymous, safe-reporting system for when harm is committed in our space. These reports will have the option of being sent to a third party (not staff and board)
We have created three new reporting systems that include options for anonymity and third party reporting. They also include options for reporting in-person, by writing (in Google form or hard copy), and phone. These options are now listed on our website as well as in our employee handbook, and will be given to every contractor who begins working for Theatre Horizon.
Revise sexual harassment and abuse reporting policies to protect anonymity (and include option of going to a third party)
Create racial harassment and abuse reporting policy (will also have the option of going to a third party)
We expanded our sexual harassment and abuse reporting policies to include all types of abuse and harm, including antiracist incidents.
In addition to an anonymous reporting system, Artistic Director will hold monthly virtual “office hours” in which anyone who wants to discuss anything related to Theatre Horizon (or seek support in terms of fundraising, marketing and producing their own projects) is welcome to show up. Dates and times will be publicly available on our website.
Office hours began in January, 2021 and are the second Monday of every month between 10am-12pm. In addition to these open office hours, Artistic Director has begun biweekly with two artists from smaller companies who wanted fundraising support for their organizations and projects.
Devoted time at each Board Meeting to update full Board on whether we are fulfilling our commitments in this document (this is a regular practice moving forward).
Each Board Meeting since the publication of this plan has included time on the agenda to discuss our antiracist efforts and progress. This will continue to be common practice moving forward.
Antiracist action plan is read and discussed by full Board and Staff. Through individual meetings, Board and Staff commit to mandatory EDI training and prioritizing these policies in decision-making moving forward.
Each staff and board member has read the plan and continues to participate in the execution of these tasks and the questions surrounding them.
Post public updates on our website and social media as we continue to execute these policies and plans at the intervals specified in this plan (6 months, 1 year, 3 years).
This is what you are currently reading. We will publish another progress report at the 1-year mark.
STAFF CULTURE & HIRINGDevote time at staff meetings (quarterly) to check in on where we are with antiracist action steps
We have discussed progress on the plan at two staff meetings over the past six months and will continue to check in about it as a group at quarterly intervals
Establish department-specific antiracist metrics for staff to meet in their work. Achieving these goals will become part of every staff member’s job description and assessed at annual reviews
Annual reviews took place in February 2021 and antiracist goals for each staff position were established
When hiring positions, explicitly named an antiracist environment (this will continue to be our practice moving forward)
Since the publication of this plan, we have posted two job descriptions. Both have emphasized the antiracist environment and culture we seek to create.
Because systems of higher education substantiate racial inequities, we removed barriers such as education requirements or a certain number of years of experience in postings (this will continue to be our practice moving forward)
In the two job descriptions we have posted since the publication of this plan, we have not listed education requirements or a specific number of years of experience required.When hiring for a staff position, we conducted intentional, individual outreach to BIPOC arts administrators (this will continue to be our practice moving forward)
When hiring a Manager of Institutional Giving & Communications in the Fall of 2020, we reached out to BIPOC arts administrators to encourage them to apply and hired a Latinx candidate. We are continuing to reach out to BIPOC arts administrators for the Producing Director position we are currently hiring.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
Create a plan for Executive Leadership training with an EDI specialist to be completed before the start of the 2021-2022 season.
Artistic and Managing Directors have completed (or are in the process of) antiracist/equity, diversity and inclusion training through both Nicole Brewer’s Conscientious Theater Training and the EDI series led by Keva White through the Independence Foundation. Members of our antiracist action committee have also interviewed three different potential EDI consultants and made a plan for Board, staff and creative team antiracist training that will begin in September, 2021.
Create a plan for how antiracist training (including bystander intervention and de-escalation techniques) will be disseminated to all patron-facing volunteers
A subcommittee of staff and board is creating an antiracist training video for our volunteer ushers that will include definitions and examples of microaggressions and reducing harm in the moment.
Executive leadership begins an open group of staff, board and audience members to meet weekly as they engage with Lalya F. Saad’s “Me and White Supremacy” workbook
The antiracist action committee decided that a more effective, accountable approach to engaging the staff and board with antiracism and restorative justice concepts would be through training by paid professionals. We are committed to fostering growth on both institutional and individual levels, and determined that the workbook may be an important companion piece to more formal guidance through EDI education, rather than an open group.
PROGRAMMING PRACTICES & CULTURAL COMPETENCY
Redefine our partnerships with BIPOC-led arts organizations to ensure these partnerships are mutually beneficial and sustainable. Work with our partners on creating partnership agreements and budgets collaboratively that equalize power and eliminate institutional hierarchy. Offer opportunities to listen and reflect on past partnerships.
No formal partnerships have been formed during the pandemic but we hope to resume past partnerships and begin new ones when our in-person programming for the 21/22 season is decided. We have spoken with several artists from past partnerships to reflect on their experiences with Theatre Horizon and how to make these relationships more mutually beneficial.
Research and begin relationship-building with culturally competent dramaturgs with lived experience that coincide with the shows originally in our 2020-2021 production season.
We have worked a Dramaturg position into the production budgets we are creating for in-person, full productions next year. We are continuing to research the most culturally-effective fit for each show as our season continues to grow and change in the wake of the pandemic.
In our originally scheduled 2020-2021 season, the majority of shows programmed were by BIPOC artists. We will continue this commitment, pledging that at least 50% of the work on our stage will be written by BIPOC playwrights/creators.
While our 2021-2022 season is still being developed, we will maintain this commitment
PROGRAMMING PRACTICES & CULTURAL COMPETENCY
Refine our grant writing procedure (which includes a voice edit, a vision edit, and a proofread) to include an antiracist edit that removes any language that upholds racial hierarchy by tokenizing marginalized groups
Our Manager of Institutional Giving & Artistic Director are currently researching best practices for working against white supremacy in grant language and challenging questions from funders that maintain this dynamic. We are currently crafting a document that defines what an “antiracist edit” looks like for Theatre Horizon that will be in practice by the summer of 2021.
Institute a practice in which Board Members pledge a percentage of their annual gift to Theatre Horizon to be put in a restricted Antiracist Action Fund
While this will formally go into effect when Board Members make their pledges for the new fiscal year in the Summer of 2021, some have already chosen to contribute to the fund. It currently totals $6,750. Over the next year, this money will primarily go towards DEI training for staff and board, as well as towards a no-strings attached residency for Black artists that is currently in development.
Continue monthly meetings with antiracist action committee to assess if we are fulfilling our commitments outlined in this plan
Monthly meetings have continued.
Appoint EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Officer on our Board who sits on the Executive Committee and who all Committee Chairs are accountable to to ensure their work is being done in compliance with this document
Amanda Morton has joined Theatre Horizon’s Board of Directors and is serving as our EDI Officer. We have also updated Theatre Horizon’s by-laws to recognize this as a formal, long-term position.
Note: At the time of the plan’s publication (September 30, 2020), 12% of Theatre Horizon’s Board Members identified as BIPOC. As of this 6-month update (March 30, 2020), 16% of Theatre Horizon’s Board Members identify as BIPOC.
September 2021: We Released a 1-Year Progress Report as Outlined in Our Plan
THEATRE HORIZON ANTIRACISM ACTION PLAN
1-YEAR PROGRESS REPORT
On September 30, 2020, we published an Antiracism Action Plan: a living, breathing document that will be edited and expanded over time as we continue to learn how the implementation of antiracist initiatives resonates within our organization and community. Our goal is to ensure ongoing commitments to the evolving conversation surrounding equity, diversity, inclusion, and access.
Inspired by “We See You, White American Theatre,” our goal in doing this work is to establish a culture at Theatre Horizon that dismantles the institutionalized centering of whiteness and white supremacy culture. Over 30 people contributed to the creation of the Antiracism Action Plan. Their names can be found here.
In March 2021, we updated the public about our actions 6-months after the plan’s initial publication. We are making another public update today, one full year since our plan was released. The purpose of these progress reports is to provide external accountability for where we are in achieving these goals.
This Antiracism Action Plan allows us to further our “Third Space Initiative.” As a “Third Space”—a place separate from work and home that is essential for creating a sense of connection across perceived boundaries—we will continue to build long-term, sustainable relationships with our Norristown community, and increase accessibility to our virtual and physical spaces. We will do this through: the formation of a Community Advisory Board led by antiracist facilitator Nicole Brewer of Conscientious Theatre Training; the development of a strategy for virtual events with Virtual Access Consultant Jared Mezzocchi; and redesigning a more visible, welcoming, and accessible exterior to our building.
If you would like to talk more about this work with us, you are welcome to email Artistic Director Nell Bang-Jensen at Nell@TheatreHorizon.org. We will continue to publish updates on this work at the increments of time identified in the plan.
In the name of transparency, the list below details what we said we would accomplish in the first year, and where we are now. The original action items are listed with information in italics about what has been accomplished:
- Theatre Horizon’s next strategic planning process will use this Antiracism Action Plan as its core value. All future strategic plans will prioritize moving the organization in an explicitly antiracist direction.
- The strategic planning committee was formed in the Spring of 2021 and will begin their work in October 2021. The Antiracism Action Plan will be the core foundation to build upon in the strategic planning process.
- Hire external consultants to conduct “anti oppression assessment” of Theatre Horizon
- We have hired the group ‘oneTILT” to conduct this assessment as part of their consulting and EDI training for our Board and Staff, beginning in October 2021. Nicole Brewer of Conscientious Theatre Training will also be working with our Board in the Fall of 2021.
- Work with external consultants to create processes and policies for when harm is committed in our space. Disseminate these to artists and contractors at their hiring
- Our EDI Representative and Artistic Director will take these harm reporting systems (created March 2021) to our external consultants in October 2021 with a particular focus on developing relationship repair processes and policies. In the meantime, all contractors have received updated harm reporting information.
- Integrate recommendations of “anti oppression assessment” into Antiracism Action Plan and make revised plan public on our website
- Any changes made to our Antiracism Action Plan as a result of the anti-oppression assessment will be updated on our website between the 1 year and 3 year progress reports
STAFF CULTURE & HIRING
- Re-evaluate our hiring, feedback and performance evaluation process to foster a staff that is more representative of the Norristown community
- We are breaking down this goal into several steps. In terms of re-evaluating our hiring practices through an antiracist lens, both our Managing Director and the Chair of the HR Committee on our Board have recently attended an antiracist recruitment training in July of 2022.
- One hiring practice we will begin implementing in September 2021 is ensuring every draft of a job posting is reviewed by 3 people who are not in the theater industry to conduct an edit for theater jargon and exclusionary language. We seek to reach a pool of applicants who may not have theater experience specifically.
- We will begin implementing exit interviews to pinpoint opportunities for management improvements and to gain valuable insight and feedback on employee experiences. The Managing Director will work with the chair of the HR Committee to design standardized exit interviews.
- Our performance evaluation process is currently based on a system of collaborative goal setting between employees and their managers. We are committed to also ensuring that each of these conversations involve a 360 degree evaluation of the employee’s Manager as a first step in evolving away from a hierarchical staff structure.
- We will create a Preferred Vendor list for each department that prioritizes Norristown businesses that are owned and operated by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, as well as fellow organizations with antiracist policies in place.
- We have developed and disseminated a preferred vendor list that prioritizes Norristown- & BIPOC owned and operated businesses by reaching out to contacts at the Norristown Chamber of Commerce, Valley Forge Tourism Board, and the Norristown Chapter of the NAACP. This list is a living, breathing document and we will continue to add contacts and businesses as we learn of them.
- Provide clear metrics for all employees at Theatre Horizon to advance within the institution with clearly defined goals and processes.
- We conduct annual reviews with each staff member in February/March. The performance evaluation tool we have been using for the past year asks employees to collaboratively create goals with their supervisors with specific numbers, deadlines, and accountability structures. Moving forward, each of these conversations will explicitly include conversations about employees’ career goals and advancement opportunities (inside and outside of the organization).
- In the past, professional development at Theatre Horizon has been determined on a case-by-case basis. To make this more equitable, the HR Committee is creating a new strategy for professional development that divides that budget line equally among employees to ensure everyone has access to training opportunities. This new system will go into effect in the 2022/23 season.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
- Implement antiracist training program for all Board and Staff (including bystander intervention and de-escalation techniques). Frequency and content of these trainings will be determined by external consultants.
- In October 2021, Theatre Horizon staff will begin antiracist training with oneTILT and participate in workshops focused on dismantling white supremacy culture. During our consultancy with them, we will also determine what this training will look like on an ongoing basis in the future. The Theatre Horizon board will begin their training with Nicole Brewer of Conscientious Theatre Training this Fall as well.
- Antiracist training and protocol implemented for all creative teams and casts on the first day of rehearsal. (BIPOC artists can choose to opt in or opt out.)
- We are still developing what these trainings look like, as well as who leads them. We are giving ourselves the opportunity to talk to external consultants about the various potentials this Fall before committing to one particular model. We will have this training in place by the time we welcome artists back to our physical space in December 2021.
PROGRAMMING PRACTICES & CULTURAL COMPETENCY
- In response to We See You W.A.T, when resuming in-person auditions, ensure that when BIPOC artists are being cast, a BIPOC director (and/or casting director is present)
- We imagine our auditions in the future will be a combination of hybrid and virtual. When we begin auditions again (most likely November 2021), we will ensure a culturally-competent casting director will be hired based on the needs of the project. A job description for the position has been created.
- We achieved racial parity on our stages each season as part of Theatre Horizon’s 2017 strategic plan. We are upping this commitment to include 50% BIPOC artists hired total (on and off-stage, which includes design teams, directors, and Dramaturgs).
- Given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2021/2022 season is remaining flexible and hiring is currently in process. For “Our Norristown,” currently in development, the creative team is 78% BIPOC.
- Before resuming in-person programming: hire culturally competent Dramaturgs and/or Cultural Consultants for every production. This person will be integrated in the pre-production and production process and helps remove the responsibility of BIPOC directors, designers and actors to bear the expectations and labor of serving as a cultural representative
- We are in the process of identifying culturally-competent Dramaturgs and/or Cultural Consultants. As theaters begin to re-open and we have greater access to experiential knowledge related to this role, we are committed to figuring out how the nuanced creative and cultural intersections act in collaboration with the needs of our productions.
- In response to the demands of We See You W.A.T: work with Actors’ Equity to shift our rehearsal and production models to prioritize the care of the creative team, cast and crew, including eliminating the practice of 10 out of 12s and reexamining the 6-day rehearsal week
- In the 2021/22 season, we have reenvisioned our production processes to hold rehearsal 5 of 7 days/week and eliminate 10 out of 12s.
- In collaboration with BIPOC artists, design an artist-in-residence program for Black artists who create original work. Included in this program is space, funds, and other institutional resources such as marketing and fundraising
- We will begin collaborating with external consultants on building out the residency program beginning in October 2021. It is of the utmost importance for us to move deliberately in order to have the most equitable and ethical process possible, particularly when it comes to selecting residents and developing mutual expectations.
FUNDING & FINANCIALS
- Create a restricted Antiracist Action Fund, which will pay for annual antiracist training for staff and board, working with external consultants, and the annual grant for Black artists. The remaining dividend will be donated to a Black-led organization, decided on by staff.
- In FY21, our board members contributed $6,750 to our Antiracist Action Fund which helped fund the creation of a video for volunteer ushers with information on bystander intervention and identifying microaggressions.
- We will have an update on how much has been raised and how it was spent at the end of our fiscal year in June 2022.
- Along with a copy of our Annual Report, publish an organizational budget on our website, in the name of greater transparency
- We published pie charts on our website that break down both our financials (Antiracist Action Fund Spending, Expenses, & Income) as well as the racial parity of our staff, board, and contractors. These pie charts will be updated yearly so we can track our progress over time. We would like to hold ourselves accountable as we work to cultivate a more diverse workforce and to gain trust in our community.
- Review our fundraising policies and create new strategies that are developed with an antiracist lens
- To ensure people of all races and backgrounds who make a contribution have equal access to Theater Horizon, our new policy will be that all donors, regardless of gift size, are welcome and invited to donor events offered by the theater (not just those on the top of the “donor pyramid”).
- In addition to welcoming all supporters, we are reimagining our donor benefits packages so that they are more equitable. Previously, benefits were tiered, and larger gifts from supporters translated into a more robust and exclusive package with increased benefits and more points of access to the company. We are developing this new benefits system and will begin implementing it during our 2021/22 Season.
- Conduct values assessment with staff and board as we begin a writing process to create a new mission that holds antiracism as a central value
- We decided to incorporate this work into our strategic planning process and focus our attention on those concrete actions to fulfill our mission rather than creating a brand new one
Note: At the time of the plan’s publication (September 30, 2020), 12% of Theatre Horizon’s Board Members identified as BIPOC and 29% of Theatre Horizon’s staff identified as BIPOC. As of the 1-year update (September 30, 2021) , 19% of Theatre Horizon’s Board Members identify as BIPOC and 38% of Theatre Horizon’s staff identify as BIPOC.
November 2022: We Released a 2-Year Progress Report
THEATRE HORIZON ANTIRACISM ACTION PLAN
2-YEAR PROGRESS REPORT
The purpose of this progress report is to provide external accountability for where we are in achieving the goals outlined in our plan.
- Theatre Horizon staff participated in three training sessions with the group oneTILT. Topics included: inclusive leadership and management styles; disrupting and dismantling white supremacy culture in the workplace; and re-imagining our relationship to giving and receiving feedback through a lens of antiracism.
- oneTILT served as Theatre Horizon’s DEI Consultants this past season, working with staff to create and implement new anti-oppression strategies.
- Our Antiracism Action Committee still meets regularly to move our existing plan forward and to plan our FY24-26 Antiracism Action Plan.
STAFF CULTURE & HIRING
- Theatre Horizon received funding to pilot a Residency for Norristown Artists in 2023. This residency will allow us to support the creation, development, production, and presentation of one Global Majority Norristown-based artist of any discipline—including theatre artists, dancers, musicians, and visual artists—during our 2023/24 Season. Our marketing strategies for prospective applicants will intentionally disseminate information to Global Majority artists in Norristown; our panel of adjudicators will comprise Norristown residents and artists.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
- Theatre Horizon received funding to launch The Albert M. Greenfield Philadelphia Teaching Artist Institute (PTAI) in collaboration with The Wilma Theater and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. The PTAI will present opportunities for our Teaching Artists to strengthen their teaching skills through a trauma-informed, antiracist lens by providing: paid professional development with invited experts in the field; a supportive community of peer Teaching Artists; a hub for shared resources and tools to succeed in the 21st-century classroom; and new job opportunities through residencies and positions that allow for consistent, dependable income. Through this work, we seek to increase the representation and retention of Teaching Artists of color at Theatre Horizon and across the Philadelphia region, as well as increasing cultural competency in our Teaching Artists.
PROGRAMMING PRACTICES & CULTURAL COMPETENCY
- Going beyond the words of our land acknowledgement, we deepened our partnership with the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania through our collaboration on their Rising Nation River Journey and TOWN, Theatre Horizon’s new play that featured the Lenape language. The entire cast participated in a Lenape language lesson with elders from the Lenape Culture Center, to help become culture-bearers for this endangered language.
- On an as-needed basis, we provided childcare and transportation stipends for actors and creative team members for TOWN and plan to continue offering these stipends moving forward.
- Theatre Horizon opened up our physical space to co-host events in collaboration with our Norristown community, such as a vaccination clinic in collaboration with ACLAMO and the Greater Norristown NAACP, and the inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Run organized by Councilwoman Heather Lewis and RUNegades.
FUNDING & FINANCIALS
- To ensure people of all backgrounds have equal access to Theatre Horizon, we removed donor tier benefits and changed our policy so that all donors—regardless of gift size—were invited to donor events, including our end-of-the-year toast which was previously reserved for donors who contributed $1,000+.
- We formed our first-ever Community Advisory Board of 14 Norristown residents–all identifying as Global Majority–to inform our long-term planning through facilitated conversations with Nicole Brewer of Anti-Racist Theatre.
- Using the Antiracism Action Plan as a core foundation, we created our FY23-25 Strategic Plan in collaboration with Board members, staff, Norristown residents, and artists.
- Our Nominating Committee is strategizing on recruiting prospective Board members from Norristown and surrounding Montgomery County.
Note: At the time of the plan’s publication (September 30, 2020), 12% of Theatre Horizon’s Board Members identified as BIPOC and 29% of Theatre Horizon’s staff identified as BIPOC. As of the 2-year update (November 30, 2022) , 31% of Theatre Horizon’s Board Members identify as BIPOC and 38% of Theatre Horizon’s staff identify as BIPOC.
We are committed to creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive and respectful work environment that supports all of our artists and staff, regardless of the length of time they will spend with us.
We encourage anyone working with us to address behavior they experience or observe that does not uphold our commitments to each other as we do not tolerate any kind of discrimination, harassment, bullying, or behavior that creates a hostile, unpleasant, or an uncomfortable working environment from anyone working for or with us.
Please use our anonymous hotline or Theatre Horizon’s Incident Report to report any behavior that doesn’t support a safe working environment:
- Anonymous Reporting App, Keyword: theatrehorizon
- English speaking USA and Canada: 833-401-0002
- Spanish speaking USA and Canada: 800-216-1288
- Spanish speaking Mexico: 01-800-681-5340
- Make sure to include company name (Theatre Horizon) with report.
- Make sure to include company name (Theatre Horizon) with report.
As part of our Antiracism Action Plan, we are committed to providing increased transparency surrounding both our budgets and the racial parity of our staff, board, and contractors. We would like to hold ourselves accountable as we work to cultivate a more diverse workforce and to gain trust in our community.
Since we are at the beginning of our journey towards transparency, we are still in the process of determining the appropriate framework for tracking and reporting information back to our stakeholders. If you have feedback or want to participate in a more meaningful conversation about the information presented below, please feel free to contact us.
FY22 Antiracism Action Spending
Theatre Horizon’s Antiracist Action Fund for FY22 totaled $6,500. However, we chose to spend over $34,000 towards expenses to support our Antiracism efforts, such as: Staff and Board Trainings; anti-oppression consultants, the formation of a Community Advisory Board comprised of 14 Global Majority Norristown residents led by Antiracist facilitator Nicole Brewer; and travel, childcare, and housing stipends.
Management & General includes all office and administrative expenses as well as the costs associated with running our facility (janitorial, IT, office supply, bookkeeping, and utility expenses etc.).
Program Services includes any expenses related to producing our shows or our educational programming. All expenses related to production, education, front-of-House, and marketing are included in this line.
Fundraising includes any expense related to our development efforts including development staff salaries, development-related mailing expenses, and donor engagement expenses.
Contributed Income includes individual, board, grant, and corporate contributions.
Earned Income includes ticket sales, education, rental, and concessions income.
FY22 Percentage of BIPOC Staff
FY22 Percentage of BIPOC Board Members