Our commitment to an antiracist theatre

The NOLA Project, as a nonprofit theatre organization, has fallen short in its duty and mission to represent the New Orleans community that we call our home. This failure accounts for several shortcomings, including a failure to properly acknowledge our local artistic predecessors, as well as a failure to embrace, learn from, and properly include the vast collection of New Orleanians that make up our community. To our collective guilt and shame, in a city made up of 60% people of color, our organizational makeup and our work selection have been overwhelmingly white: white actors; white writers; white staff; white board of directors. Our organization has been complicit in perpetuating systemic racism within the arts, and we very much need to change that. We believe that acknowledgement of these faults must come first, and what follows must be a firm commitment and plan for change. 

 

We wish to thank the BIPOC artistic community for drawing our attention to these faults, calling us out when we have fallen short, and demanding change as a result. Moving forward, The NOLA Project shall commit to greatly increasing racial diversity as it relates to our ensemble makeup, the selection of work we perform, the membership of our board of directors, and the makeup of our staff. In order to do so, we present the following action steps:

 

The NOLA Project hereby commits to the following practices moving forward:

  • A minimum of two out of three artists invited into our ensemble will be BIPOC. Our current active ensemble is now comprised of 20 artists (15 white, 1 Asian, 1 Black, 1 Latinx, 2 multiple races).

  • Actively pursue the production of works created by, and relevant to, BIPOC artists.

  • Intentionally focus on hiring BIPOC actors, directors, writers, designers, and stage managers.

  • Seek collaboration with BIPOC leaders and organizations in all activities.

  • Ensure that antiracism education and work is a part of all board, staff, and ensemble member meetings, retreats, and orientations.

  • Accept and acknowledge that this is difficult work, we will make mistakes, and we may be criticized in our efforts to do better.

We will measure our success by the following criteria:

  • By the 2021-22 season, TNP will appoint a BIPOC artist as co-Artistic Director

  • By the next possible season, at least half of all main stage works produced by TNP will be written by writers of color

  • By the 2024-25 season, TNP’s board of directors will be comprised of at least 50% people of color

  • By the 2026-27 season, 50% or more of TNP’s active ensemble will be comprised of artists of color

Moving forward, we will hold ourselves accountable to these goals and ask the community’s help in doing so. We must do better, and we will do better. You have our word.

 

A.J. Allegra, Artistic Director

Nola Project

ABOUT US

The NOLA Project is an ensemble theatre company striving to challenge, entertain, and engage diverse New Orleans audiences through high-quality and innovative performances of relevant great works, the development and production of new plays, and comprehensive theatre education opportunities.

CONTACT US

One Collins Diboll Circle

New Orleans, LA 70124

Phone: 504-302-9117

Email: boxoffice@nolaproject.com

©  2020 The NOLA Project

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