Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Read the latest update on our progress toward becoming an equitable arts organization (October 26, 2021.)

City Lights Theater Company creates provocative live productions that engage, inspire, and challenge audiences and artists alike through innovative concepts, intimate staging, and uncompromising storytelling.

City Lights is dedicated to genuine philanthropy and goodwill that inspires and influences everyone at all levels of participation: staff, artists, board members, patrons, volunteers, and contributors.  This “Culture of Care” allows everyone at City Lights to forge lasting, authentic connections to each other, to our audiences, and to the stories that we tell, and to create and sustain a warm and welcoming environment for audiences and artists with friendliness and generosity of spirit.

As a reflection of this ongoing dedication to both care and community as essential components of live theater, in recognition of the rich human diversity of the community it serves, and in direct response to the many intolerable social and professional inequities throughout the Bay Area and beyond, City Lights hereby commits itself:

  1. to asserting itself as an advocate for justice and equity among all human beings;
  2. to standing against hate, injustice, inequity, and white supremacy within the Bay Area theater community and beyond;
  3. to engaging in honest self-assessment of equity, diversity, and inclusion as reflected in all operations, in order to ensure the full engagement and investment of the BIPOC community with City Lights on and off the stage and in and out of the theater itself;
  4. to implementing new, permanent criteria for season planning and production casting and staffing that uphold the high standard of equity expected by and acceptable to the the BIPOC community;
  5. to ensuring that all future hiring of artists, administrators, and staff members meets the high standard of equity expected by and acceptable to the BIPOC community;
  6. to telling stories of, by, and for BIPOC playwrights, artists, and audiences in a manner that is always a genuine and truthful reflection of the BIPOC community;
  7. to establishing and maintaining an ethnic and cultural balance within the Board of Directors that reflects as accurately as possible the diversity of the community City Lights serves;
    1. to maintaining consistent and ongoing personal growth among all individuals who make up the City Lights community – artists, audiences, administrators, etc. – as advocates for equity, diversity, inclusion, and change; activities will include, but are not limited to:
    2.  completing initial anti-racist and anti-oppression training for the current staff and board by August 31, 2021, including the drafting of an anti-racist/anti-oppression values statement and updating any policies to acknowledge and abandon any exclusionary or harmful practices;
    3. continuing anti-racist/anti-oppression training on an annual basis, including implementing an on-boarding traning policy for new staff/board members;
    4. drafting an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Statement in consultation with representatives from the Tamyen Ohlone tribes;
    5. contributing annually to the Shuumi Land Tax to express our continuing gratitude for our use of occupied indigenous lands;
    6. drafting and posting an Inclusivity and Welcome Statement, to be posted on the City Lights website and in the theater lobby, acknowledging all racial and gender identifications and affirming the company’s intolerance for any and all oppressive language, actions, or behavior, whether implicit or explicit;
    7. creating and posting multilingual signage in our public spaces;
  8. educating our audiences, through (e) and (f) above, as well as other PR and outreach materials, about the company’s unwavering stance against any and all inequity and/or intolerance based on culture, race, ethnicity, and/or gender identification;
  9. to recognizing that the work we do now to address and reverse inequity in all forms is only the beginning, and that there is much work to be done and many mistakes to be made before the ugly cloud of white supremacy and oppression that has been so long endemic to the theater industry is once and forever lifted; and
  10. to listening to BIPOC and all other members of our diverse community as we work to effect change within ourselves, our company, and our community in the service of equity and justice among all people, in all walks of life, within the theater industry and beyond.

City Lights Theater Company is committed to fully dismantling white supremacy and oppression in all its forms, and stands in solidarity with all peoples working to eradicate inequity, injustice, and marginalization in all aspects of our vibrant and diverse society.