Our Commitment to Change

A Message from TDF on our Commitment to Change

Letter posted: 6/23/20

On June 3 I wrote to you letting you know that TDF condemns the murder of George Floyd and countless other Black Americans, and that we stand in solidarity with all who seek justice and demand equality. Since that time we have engaged in a series of hard conversations about how to lay the groundwork for change. 

As we move forward with urgency, we commit here and now not to “check boxes” but to do this work, every day, from here on out. Here are some of the initial actions we are taking:

  • We are examining internal systems that contribute to inequity, including hiring and promotion practices. We are forming board and staff working groups to establish and advance inclusive values within the organization, and to define an actionable plan to imbed those values into our everyday work to fulfill our mission.

  • We will work to undo racism and other issues of social justice that exist in the American theatre by creating new programs with our producing partners and acting more radically and intentionally on our belief that everyone deserves access to the performing arts.

  • We will expand the reach of our programs, particularly in education and engagement, and work to build awareness on the part of white audiences on the pervasiveness of implicit bias and the way it prevents people of color from feeling welcome at the theatre. We will work with experts to develop training to overcome it.

This is just a start and barely scratches the surface on the work needed. We acknowledge that after almost 52 years of service for theatre audiences and makers, we have not done enough to drive real, lasting change. We promise to hold ourselves accountable, and hope you will hold us accountable, too. We will share updates on our efforts, and hope you will continue to share your thoughts and suggestions. 

We must listen. We must rise up.

Black Lives Matter. 

Tory Bailey
Executive Director, TDF