Our statement in response to the Amiskwaciywâskahigan-based chapter of the 35//50 Initiative
We, as In Arms Theatre Collective, along with many other performing arts companies in Alberta, are publicly committing to the work asked of us by the 35//50 Initiative.
35//50 seeks to have 35% of paid positions held by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) artists, and 50% of paid positions held by women and nonbinary artists by 2024. Since receiving their letter, all three of us have signed on as individuals, and we are committed to answering the call for transparency and representation in our hiring and artmaking.
Some of the steps we will be taking as an ad hoc company are to:
Complete a full audit of our past projects, and make public our data.
Draft and publish a comprehensive anti-oppression statement, code of conduct, and procedure for grievance which will be publicly available on our website, as well as made available at the beginning of every rehearsal period.
Continue our work to reach out, build community, and bring people into our projects.
As a company that grew out of an identified hole in the fabric of storytelling in Amiskwaciy-waskâhigan we are adamantly, wholeheartedly in support of the 35//50 Initiative. Globally, gender and racial diversity has been an implicit goal of In Arms’ operation, but as an ad-hoc company that pursues project-to-project funding we are limited in terms of paid opportunity, and limited in terms of scope for planning and executing seasons. Our goal of 35% and 50% minimum paid positions might not be reflected on an individual project basis, but will be a central value around which to organize seasons and long-term goals.
We thank the people behind the initiative for the work that has gone into urging Alberta companies towards a transparent conversation about whose stories are valued onstage, in the office, and behind the scenes, as well as to commit publicly to addressing systems of power that have gone unannounced.
Representation is critical to the work of telling queer stories, and we commit to honouring that representation throughout our projects. This step is in stride with and in support of our community, but is neither the first nor last in the ongoing project of a healthier and more just performing arts community for everyone.
Please watch this space for forthcoming data and information.
If you have any questions about what In Arms is doing, or how we’re doing it, or would like to talk to one of us in private, we can be reached at email@example.com
With love, and in solidarity, Makram, Sarah, and Stuart