Almost exactly one year ago a national reckoning began with the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests, calls to action, and flurry of anti-racism statements. As an organization that was created at the intersection of social justice and theater, we felt we knew some of this territory, and had walked some of this ground before, but it quickly became clear that what we had been doing was simply not enough. After being challenged both by our own staff and our larger community to examine our participation in white supremacy structures we knew we needed to state our values loud and clear to our artists, audiences, and collaborators. We needed to show them we stand with them and are committed to pursuing change.
And with that, we dove into a three month process of interrogating our ideas and our work, and exploring who our “communities” are. We looked at how we want to serve our audiences, our artists and our neighborhood. While exploring our implicit, explicit and missing values, we learned more about who we are engaging with, who we may be leaving behind, and what we must do next.
Our Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) crafted the Value Statements by working with our staff (full and part time) and our Board of Directors. It was an important, necessary, and long-overdue labor. We see these values as both practical and aspirational, reflecting our past and our future. We will use these Value Statements as a guide as we continue our work: to build stronger collaborations, determine our priorities, and pursue change. In the immediate future we will use these values to select plays for our upcoming season, create a new budget, and build a series of action steps towards a more inclusive CST. We know that these values are a living document, and as we grow and change they will grow and change with us. Now we invite you, our collaborators, into this process. We ask you to hold us accountable, and to grow with us and these values as we move forward into the future.
The Anti-Racism Committee at Central Square Theater is a rotating committee asking and allowing a larger number of staff members to contribute their creativity and capacity to our anti-racism and inclusion efforts. The committee includes representatives from many departments and new participants are welcome at any time.