Statement of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)
Reno Little Theater is an organization that celebrates and uplifts diversity and inclusivity regardless of race, gender, age, etc.
We recognize that racism and oppression exist in the world, in our city, and in our own theatrical community. As the longest-running theatre in Nevada, we commit to changing these systems within our community by looking inward to identify and rectify practices and behaviors that contribute to an environment of oppression.
Our goal is to cultivate a culture of acceptance in our community by counteracting instances of racism and all forms of oppression through specific actions rooted in the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA).
The mission of Reno Little Theater is to create exceptional theatrical experiences that inspire, entertain, and strengthen our community through artistic engagement and collaboration.
Reno Little Theater will be a leader of anti-racism, anti-oppression, and accessibility in the Reno arts community. We will work with our peer organizations to provide resources, guidance, and leadership to educate and facilitate progress on stage and off. We seek to lead by example and create an equitable and inclusive environment within our organization and beyond.
Reno Little Theater rejects racism, misogyny, classism, homophobia, ableism, sexism, ageism, religious discrimination, and other forms of hate and bigotry. Actions within our organization that demonstrate these behaviors will NOT be tolerated.
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
We acknowledge and honor the Washoe, Paiute, and Shoshone Native Community, the Tribes of the Great Basin, and the Shoshone speaking groups as the original stewards throughout the generations upon which our theatre stands. We acknowledge that for some Native people the “land acknowledgments” currently in play are often performative in nature and tend to gloss over the reality that Indigenous people are still stripped of voting access, that Native American women are 200 times more likely to go missing from their families and communities, and that very little to nothing is being done to rectify this one of many nationally criminal genocides. The destruction of Native communities and appropriation of their culture is an ongoing issue today. We acknowledge this to bring these people into the room with us so that their plight is not forgotten.
To get involved and support the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, please contact Bethany B. Sam, Public Relations / Community Information Officer, via email at email@example.com. For more information about the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, please visit www.rsic.org.
We seek to honor all the land of this planet and the courageous people who are its past, present, and future stewards, modeling a tradition of resistance and seeking liberation.
Black Lives Matter
Reno Little Theater affirms unambiguously that Black Lives Matter.
Commitment to Accessibility
We acknowledge the barriers often presented to people of different abilities wishing to engage in the performing arts both as performers or as audience members. We firmly believe that everyone should have equal access to our productions and programs in a barrier-free environment that allows all people to maintain their independence and dignity in our space. We respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Americans with Disabilities Act and strive to meet the needs of individuals with different abilities in a timely and effective manner. We are constantly learning and growing.
As evidence of our commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA), we would like to share our Current Accomplishments and our Upcoming efforts. This list of actions will continue to grow and be revised as we ourselves take actions to grow and change towards creating this environment of acceptance.
- We have formed the IDEA Committee to discuss such topics and create more actionable items to support this statement.
- We began Perspectives: A Multicultural Play Reading Series as an official program of Reno Little Theater. Founded in collaboration with the group “Reno Theatre of Color,” Perspectives seeks to present readings of thoughtful plays that explore culturally relevant themes and give voice to diverse stories.
- We are increasing accessibility in our theatre by adding new aisles, adjusting the box office for wheel-chair accessibility, increasing wheel-chair seating, and utilizing touchless sanitization tools in the restrooms.
- We provide Name-Your-Price options to our productions in order to increase access to patrons of diverse economic backgrounds.
- We provide scholarships for our educational programming to increase access for students of diverse economic backgrounds.
- The Governance Committee has prioritized board diversity in its review of potential incoming board members. Our board currently represents the diversity of our community with regard to age, gender, sexuality, and race.
- Our Executive Director and Board Members have recently completed the following IDEA-related training:
- artEquity – “Beyond Diversity National Board Training”
- Hollaback – “Bystander Intervention”
- Intimacy Directors of Color – “Putting Out the Dumpster Fire: Establishing Institutional Intimacy through Afro-Centric Principles”
- National Arts Strategies – Monthly meetings
- City of Reno – DEI Cohort
- Sierra Arts Foundation – “Road Maps on DEI”
- We created & approved a new Code of Conduct and Concern Resolution Path. (8/16/21)
Works in Progress
- Reno Little Theater is currently reviewing and updating all of our governing documents including our community standards and company handbooks for staff, volunteers, board of directors, and production through the lens of IDEA.
- We are investigating options for adding ASL Interpretation and Open Captioning to our productions.
- The IDEA Committee is developing a plan to create an “IDEA Fund” to which a set percentage of ticket sales will be allocated. We are also planning to develop a donation link for patrons to add to the “IDEA Fund” as they wish.
- RLT plans to continue training our Staff and Board in anti-racist practices for theatre and non-profit leadership.
- RLT plans to work with fellow local performing arts organizations on continued training efforts.
This is a living document, originally drafted by RLT’s IDEA Committee. As we work to dismantle systems of oppression around us, new realizations and perspectives may become present. It is our goal to continue growing with our community, addressing each concern as it arises. The work of inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and social justice is an ongoing one that must be tackled at the community, organizational, and individual levels. As such, we expect to make mistakes along the way and are committed to learning and growing. We are not and do not claim to be experts. As Maya Angelou so brilliantly expressed it, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions to improve our efforts or to get involved as an artist, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
IDEA Resource List
The BIPOC Swap List – “A growing list of plays, musicals, and acting method readings by BIPOC playwrights, composers, and theatremakers to “swap” in place of material typically used from the American theatre canon; based on similar themes and/or adaptations.”
The Alternative Canon – “Non-Western plays, plays by people of color, by women and by queer writers from before 1945.”
IDEA Stages – To learn more about IDEA initiatives in theatre.
Hollaback! – Bystander Intervention Training