New York Theatre Workshop’s Core Values Statement serves as a guide for both our institutional practices and interpersonal relationships. If our Mission Statement articulates why we exist, this Core Values Statement articulates how we exist.

In enumerating these values to guide our present and future practices, we acknowledge that we have not always lived up to these values in the past. We hold ourselves accountable and commit to doing better.

This is a living statement to be consistently reviewed in the ongoing evaluation of our practices.

INSPIRE DEEPER UNDERSTANDING

Develop and produce the work of visionary theatre artists who:

  • Engage with challenging ideas and push the theatrical form;
  • Prioritize art that asks questions over art that provides answers;
  • Expand our view of ourselves and our world.

Create anti-racist spaces that actively combat bigotry and violence, even when the art intentionally discomforts and interrogates these themes.

Question our histories and practices and disrupt patterns that reinforce institutionalized racism, anti-Blackness, colorism, anti-Indigeneity, xenophobia, sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Jewish oppression, ableism, ageism, body shaming, and other forms of hatred, oppression, and inequity.

WELCOME LEARNING AND GROWTH

Communicate respectfully.

Recognize conflict as an opportunity for growth.

Address issues directly and with compassion.

CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

Harness the power of theatre to deepen human connections.

Embrace historically marginalized communities in our work, on our staff and amongst our supporters.

Commit to make our work accessible to many communities.

LIVE OUR VALUES

Practice environmental sustainability.

Take offensive or inappropriate behavior seriously and respond in accordance with these values.

Find joy in the creative act of theatre making!

ACTIONS

To live these Core Values requires concrete action toward ensuring NYTW is an anti-racist organization. Since our inception, we’ve valued pushing the theatrical form forward by championing artists with diverse voices, aesthetics and modes of making. To ensure that our practice matched our artistic commitment, three years ago we began to assess institutional culture and its impact on employees, artists and audiences.

With the support of consultants and outside facilitators, NYTW commissioned an initial assessment identifying areas of friction across the institution and outlining active next steps toward improving workplace culture. The Core Team was established as a non-hierarchical group of staff volunteers who help guide EDI work from within the organization. A Core Team sub-committee was also formed with NYTW Trustees to ensure sustained leadership support and engagement.

To date, training and facilitation has been led by artEquity (Beyond Diversity: Practicing Equity and Inclusion), The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (Undoing Racism), A.R.T./New York & The Raben Group (Diversifying Our Organization, NYTW Board Anti-Racism Education), Equity Paradigm (White Supremacy Culture), The Center for Anti-Violence Education (The Upstander Project: Upstander/Bystander training), and Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective (Institutional Land Acknowledgments).

Looking ahead:

  • We commit to active civic engagement in collaboration with organizations and individual organizers including campaigning for budget justice, voter registration drives, census support, and increased engagement with our hyper-local community as part of Fourth Arts Block (FAB). Staff members will be entitled to three days of paid time off each year for civic engagement, and NYTW will guarantee that no team member will lose their job if they are arrested for protest participation.
  • We commit to exploring and implementing facilitated methods of restorative justice for those who have been impacted by prior incidents with members of the NYTW community.
  • Staff members commit to openly receiving feedback and being called in. We will work to dismantle fear of open conflict and continue to develop tools to empower all members of the staff to raise difficult or awkward conversations without fear of retribution or retaliation.
  • We commit to annual anti-racism workshops led by an outside facilitator on topics including but not limited to dismantling white supremacy, changing anti-black culture and structures, and gender equity in order for current community members to continue to deepen their commitment to this work and for new community members to be engaged in the work.
  • We commit to participating in regular workshops and exercises led by outside facilitators and members of Core Team on topics including but not limited to micro-aggressions in the workplace, conflict resolution, and de-escalation training.

ACCOUNTABILITY

In our commitment toward being a fully anti-racist organization, we’re publishing our Core Values alongside this active list of action steps to interrogate and practices, disrupt patterns that reinforce institutionalized oppressions and inequities, acknowledge our missteps, and hold our organization to a standard that does not accept that this work is ever done. We stand in solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members of our community, and recognize that we have not always lived up to these values and must contend with the harm that those shortcomings have caused.

If you have thoughts about how we’re doing or would like to begin a dialogue, we invite you to reach out to us by email at info@nytw.org.