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Arts environments require risk-taking, courage, vulnerability, and investment of our physical, emotional, and intellectual selves. We seek to nurture spaces with strong safety nets that support that ethos without compromising a visceral and authentic experience for artists and audiences.
When creative environments are unsafe, both the artist and the art can become compromised. Spaces that prize “raw,” “violent,” and otherwise high-risk material can veer into unsafe territory if there are no procedures for prevention, communication, and when necessary, response. Too often, artists have been afraid to respond to abusive or unsafe practices, particularly where there is a power differential between the people involved. Artists have been afraid that speaking out will ruin a show or harm their reputations, and artists subjected to extreme abuse sometimes leave the craft, cutting their careers short. We believe that even in the absence of high-risk material, having pathways for response to unsafe conditions and harassment help to maintain the integrity of the work, its participants, and the organizations.
This document seeks to create awareness and systems that respect and protect the human in the art – to foster safe places to do dangerous things. It is meant to be flexible and to accommodate as many types and styles of theatre, organizations of diverse structures, budgets, and environments as possible.