Racial Equity Statement & Commitment
Celebrity Series of Boston recognizes that many existing systems of power grant privilege and access unequally, and that equity is crucial to the long-term viability of both the arts and culture sector and communities-at-large. Our Racial Equity Plan describes our commitment to ensure that everyone who wants has equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society.
We are intentionally shifting to a proactive, equity-centered approach to how we are structured, how we deliver our programs and services, how we engage with the broader community, and how we support our audiences. We seek to become an antiracist community, working against white supremacy, racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination based on gender, sexuality, class, age, and ability. We have chosen to address equity through an explicitly anti-racist lens. Although we are focusing on race explicitly, we are not focusing on it exclusively. We understand that many people hold multiple marginalized identities, and we strive for an intersectional approach.
What We Will Do
The following Racial Equity Plan and accompanying data dashboard outlines our commitment through:
- The people who lead us, how they behave, and who they represent.
- The people who work for the organization, how we select them, how we respect them, and how we compensate them.
- The partners we commit to, how we engage with them, and how we support those partnerships.
- The audiences and communities we serve, and seek to serve, by providing life-enhancing, performing arts experiences.
We will hold ourselves accountable through regular internal meetings, data collection and analysis, and by soliciting feedback from a variety of our key stakeholders – our colleagues, artists, supporters, and audiences. We look forward to continuing this work and the learning in partnership with these communities.
As an organization, we are working on the following set of 17 strategies and actions to move our racial equity goals forward:
- Evaluate Board requirements to identify and eliminate systemic inequities that prohibit BIPOC participation.
- Develop and explicitly center racial equity goals and values in Board discussions and decision making.
- Establish a Racial Equity Committee made up of one representative from each standing committee of the board, staff, community partners, and governing bodies.
- Ensure alignment of our strategic plans and our racial equity goals.
- Hold the President & Executive Director (CEO) accountable to cultivate antiracist culture and practice throughout the organization.
- Broaden the organization's networks we use to identify new employees. Establish a diverse management team that advances racial equity and equip them with knowledge and resources to manage equitably.
- Create a welcoming process and culture for employees, with particular attention to those underrepresented in the current workforce.
- Attract a diverse audience that reflects the population of Greater Boston and seek to eliminate barriers to experiencing live performances.
- Make sure the programming reflects racial and ethnic diversity among the artists appearing on our stages.
- Guarantee that fees paid to artists of color are equitable.
- Adopt an equitable approach to purchasing goods and services from third party vendors.
- Review all existing and newly developed names, designations, and acknowledgements used within the organization for any historical or unconscious bias or negative connotations.
- Engage our Community Partners (defined as our partner performing arts organizations, our community performance venues, and our Neighborhood Artists) and BIPOC voices collaboratively to build capacity, solve problems, advance our mission, make equitable decisions, and enhance programs for those we serve.
- Establish a culture within our organization that supports ongoing individual, team, department, and community learning about racial equity.
- Capture our organizational narrative and progress.
- Establish a culture of feedback that results in authentic, actionable insight.
- Create an environment fostering belonging for audiences and communities.
In the 2022/23 season, Celebrity Series continued to enact our Racial Equity Plan adopted in September 2021, expanding culturally-informed, equity-oriented activity in all spheres of our work.
In alignment with Celebrity Series' racial equity goals, the Racial Equity Committee (REC), comprised of members of the staff and board, spent the year celebrating and elevating diversity with the goal of helping to repair systemic racism. Grounded in the concept of inclusion, this work is propelled by increasingly interactive connections and deep listening. Infused into our practices and relationships with each other - including artists, audiences, staff, vendors, and community partners - is the goal of ensuring that each member of the broad Celebrity Series community experiences a sense of ownership, voice, and belonging.
2022/23 Efforts Included:
- Continuing to diversify an already broad variety of performers, reflecting the multiculturalism of Boston through our artists, venues, and community partners
- Ensuring financial equity in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists' compensation
- Prioritizing opportunities to work with BIPOC-led vendors
- Revamping our data collection and evaluation at Neighborhood Arts concerts to better understand our audience
- Quarterly anonymous surveys for Arts For All! artists and partners to improve feedback loops
- A focus group moderated by an external facilitator with community partners, leading to program improvements
- Growing BIPOC leadership on the Boards of Directors and Advisors
- Forming a staff racial equity subgroup focused on welcoming, equitable practices for recruitment, learning, and accountability
- Consistently reviewing and shifting language around names, descriptors, designations, and acknowledgements that reflect current or history systemic oppression or bias