In 2016 WAM actively began exploring the intersection of gender and racial justice through our FACING OUR TRUTH project with local Berkshire social justice organization BRIDGE. That project began a journey that continues around WAM’s exploration of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.
- We don’t think it is enough to say we are inclusive, we feel it is our duty to demonstrate our inclusiveness by proactively seeking out, inviting and welcoming diverse artists, audience members, employees, partners and beneficiaries.
- We will continue to push ourselves in this regard; creating theatre that is a foundation for innovation, creativity, and societal impact.
- We are aiming to understand and acknowledge that systems of oppression and discrimination are interdependent and span all social categorizations such as race, class, gender, ability, parental status, size, age, and sexual orientation as they apply to a given individual or group.
In addressing one spoke of systematic discrimination or disadvantage, WAM understands that means we have to address and disrupt them all. This is ongoing developmental personal and professional work at WAM for our staff and board.
With thanks to and permission of Statera Arts we also share their following language around the term ‘Women’:
Women: Statera recognizes the limiting nature of the binary use of woman. We serve and welcome anyone on the gender spectrum who identifies either always or some of the time as a woman and those who identify as nonbinary.
In February, 2019, WAM’s Producing Artistic Director, gave a TEDx Talk at the North Adams TEDx titled ‘The Discomfort of Community”. In the talk, Kristen shares how the more she works at the intersection of arts and activism, the more she recognizes how being part of the white, cisgender, able-bodied, middle class, heterosexual community is a privilege in which she can no longer afford to be comfortable. If we truly want to be change-makers and contribute to a community of empathy, equity, and belonging, we must learn how to tolerate our discomfort.
Listen as Kristen shares her uncomfortable and unexpected journey towards a personal and professional awakening.