Green Thumb Theatre
Action Items: Accountability Report
Green Thumb Theatre Anti-Racism Action Items – Accountability Report No. 3
Action Items Released: July 2021|Date of Accountability Report: November 2023
- Finalize and publicize a clear, transparent anti-oppression and anti-discrimination policy, company code of conduct, and incident reporting procedures. Once released, all information contained in these policies will live in a dedicated space on Green Thumb’s website.
Status: IMPLEMENTED in 2021
- Whenever possible, all staff positions, audition notices, and contractor open calls will be posted online for a minimum of 30 days to allow for a broader reach and to open Green Thumb up to artists and contractors we have not had access to in the past.
Status: AMMENDED – In 2022-23 we reviewed this policy and believe we have found a balance. Moving forward, all casting calls, calls for submissions, and other artist-focused calls will be posted for a minimum of 30 days to allow as broad a reach as possible. Directors will be given latitude to suggest actors and designers they are interested in working with, provided that racial equity and representation are an active part of these decisions. Permanent staff positions will be posted broadly for a window of time that serves the company’s needs, provided that racial equity and representation remain an active element in hiring decisions. The decision to amend this item will be reviewed for the 2024-25 accountability report.
- Regularly post audition notices for upcoming productions, rather than solely pulling from general auditions and prior knowledge. Artists known to us may be invited to audition in tandem with posted auditions, but shall not be relied upon as a sole means of casting shows.
Status: IMPLEMENTED – With the exception of roles that have needed to be recast on very short notice.
- Prioritize the interviewing and hiring of racialized applicants in general, and strategically earmark opportunities specifically for BIPOC applicants when appropriate. Transparently communicate these practices in calls for proposals/submissions.
Status: ONGOING – This is an ongoing action item that requires attention and effort year over year. Success has been achieved since the Action Items were released in 2021, but this work will never be ‘complete’.
- In addition to the land acknowledgement that exists on our website, Green Thumb will create a meaningful land acknowledgment for all productions moving forward.
Status: IMPLEMENTED – Green Thumb now tours with four land acknowledgments – one for local shows where the school/venue has provided their own land acknowledgment and one for local shows where the school/venue has not; one for non-local shows where the school/venue has provided their own land acknowledgment, and one for non-local shows where the school/venue has not.
- Establish a Racial Equity Advisory Committee comprised of Board Members, staff, active Green Thumb community members (particularly BIPOC), sector leaders on anti-oppression and/or other interested individuals to develop and implement an annual review of how Green Thumb is living up to its anti-oppression commitments. The review should identify best and principled practices, and/or key areas for improvement within Green Thumb policy and practice, outline clear and concrete recommendations within a specified timeframe, and identify the steps needed to meet these recommendations.
Status: SUSPENDED – The Racial Equity Advisory Committee was established in the fall of 2022 and met again in the late spring of 2023. The fall meeting of the committee had to be postponed due to Artistic Director Rachel Aberle being on extended medical leave, and subsequently making the decision to leave the company to focus on her health and family. As part of her succession planning, Rachel is including information for the incoming Artistic Director about the Committee so that members can be contacted to continue this work after Rachel’s departure.
- Seek funding for a rolling leadership training position reserved specifically for racialized applicants. Applicable roles include Associate Artistic Director, Associate General Manager, Associate Production Manager, etc.
Status: SUSPENDED – This action item will be revisited after the hiring of a new Artistic Director and time for the new leadership team to establish their working relationship.
- Secure funding/manage budgets to consistently hire outside directors and/ or assistant directors with the goal of increasing BIPOC representation on artistic teams.
Status: IMPLEMENTED AND CONTINUED – Green Thumb’s 2023-24 budget included independent BIPOC directors for two out of three shows.
- Secure/earmark funding for an Indigenous consultant to work on a methodology for Green Thumb to be a respectful visitor on other territories when on tour.
Status: COMPLETED – In 2021-22, with support from the BC Arts Council’s Arts Impact Award, Green Thumb engaged Sandy Scofield as Indigenous Relations Consultant for 2022. Sandy worked relationally to build Green Thumb’s touring protocol, which included reaching out to Indigenous Nations on whose lands we were touring, and providing support for Green Thumb to create gifts of the land to present when appropriate.
- Consult with past BIPOC and other contractors who experience marginalization who have toured about what kind of support they would appreciate while touring outside their home region with limited access to on the ground support.
Status: REQUIRES ACTION – while informal anecdotal conversations have taken place, a formalized intake of information must be created and disseminated.
- Implement annual mandatory training at a staff and board level and key contractor level. Status: IMPLEMENTED – Green Thumb continued annual training for 2023-2024 with all staff completing the Home On Native Land course.
- Seek funding and/or partnerships with other local theatre companies to host racial equity trainings and workshops for Green Thumb alumni and/or other members of the Vancouver theatre community.
Status: REQUIRES ACTION
- Seek collaborations with BIPOC artists and BIPOC led theatre companies where the experiences and perspectives of BIPOC artists are prioritized.
Status: IN PROGRESS – This is an ongoing action item that requires attention and effort year over year. Success has been achieved with individual artists since Action Items were released in 2021, but collaborations with BIPOC-led theatre companies have not yet begun.
- Implement a yearly accountability report alongside the Annual Report to formalize a space to share information on progress/setbacks.
- Engage in active, strategic Board recruitment to increase BIPOC representation at a Board level, without engaging in tokenization.
Status: IN PROGRESS – After increasing BIPOC representation on our Board, we continue board recruitment, once again conducted with a respectful, thoughtful approach.