Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
At Fringe Theatre, we foster artists. We nurture audiences. We take chances. We are a home for brave conversations.
Since its very beginning, Fringe Theatre has been the meeting place where experience, perspective, diversity, and passion are explored, uplifted, and celebrated through story and art.
Black artists and the Black community are hurting and have been hurting for a long time. Black lives matter. Black stories matter. Black creativity matters. We stand with the Black community.
We stand against racism and inequality. We actively oppose marginalization, repression, and oppression.
We are listening. We are learning. We are committed to doing the work, and we commit to continuing that work.
Fringe Theatre commits to the actions below and will continue to develop and expand our commitments as we learn.
Anti-Racism & Safer Spaces Workshop Series
In the next three months, into the next year, and beyond, Fringe Theatre will host free workshops for the Edmonton theatre community.
- Anti-Oppression Training: led by APIRG, these sessions will equip us with the language, tools, and actions to support anti-racism and systemic change in our spaces, productions, and communities; and
- Bystander & Supporting Survivors Training: led by the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, these sessions will empower us to recognize and call out discriminatory and harassing behaviours and provide us the language and tools to act, affect change, prevent and respond to violence, and support survivors.
These workshops are open to all local artists and arts organizations and will be extended to the general public if space permits. Workshop dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned to our social media channels for more information or sign up for our workshop mailing list. We will continue to facilitate workshop opportunities throughout the year, and welcome input and feedback from the community regarding workshop content and delivery.
Community Supports and Resources
We readily offer the following supports to artists of colour in our community:
- Administrative supports: free access to online resources, virtual community hubs, and other administrative supports;
- Human resources and mentorship: our team is comprised of professional artists, administrators, grant writers, technicians, analysts, lawyers, and community leaders who are dedicated to providing free mentorship, time, knowledge, and resources to artists of colour in our community;
- Platform: we will work with and compensate artists of colour to get their stories, lived experiences, expertise, and creative work out on our social channels, blog, and stages, and into the community.
- Space: in-line with our commitment to reopening the Fringe Grounds Cafe and Community Hub to the local creative community, and when it is safe for us to open the doors of the ATB Financial Arts Barns in the wake of COVID-19, we commit our facility resources to artists of colour. We invite you to meet, collaborate, train, rehearse, workshop, and perform in our spaces.
To access these supports, please email email@example.com or message us on any of our social media platforms. Once we are back in our venue, you are welcome to access these resources any time the venue doors are open.
Internal Procedures and Processes
In collaboration with our board, staff, volunteer family, and paid Black, Indigenous, and POC diversity consultants, we will:
- Review and revise hiring processes to ensure equitable hiring practices;
- Actively seek out people of colour to fill available roles, particularly roles in positions of power, within our organization and board;
- Change policies and procedures to ensure equitable recruitment, training, and retention processes in all areas of our organization;
- Scrutinize and change Festival and Season procedures to ensure artists of colour are being actively engaged, subsidized, supported, and provided equitable opportunity;
- Secure funding to expand our existing Equity Festival Lottery Category;
- Create a new lottery Festival venue as part of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival that expands our offerings beyond the limitations of colonial theatre traditions and specifically embraces culturally diverse theatre models including de-standardized show times and show schedules, latecomers welcome, relaxed performances etc. We will consult with and compensate marginalized artists in the creation and execution of this venue;
- Continue to participate in, contribute to, and implement actions from the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre and Theatre Alberta’s ALL IN equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative;
- Continue to work with the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion across the North American Fringe circuit;
- Continue to expand and evolve our Safer Spaces program;
- Continue dedicating time, resources, and space to brave community conversations regarding dismantling oppressive systems upheld by white creatives;
- Continue to provide training, education, and resources to staff to actively stand against marginalization, repression, and oppression; and
- Continue to provide training education, and resources to staff about decolonialized theatre practices to ensure our team can better support decolonial approaches to theatre making.
Using our available platforms, including our website, upcoming Fringe TV channel, facility, social channels etc., and in collaboration with fellow Edmonton Theatre community members, we will maintain a digital toolbox that will include anti-racism resources, education, and actions specifically for local white theatre creators. This toolbox will be built collaboratively with the community and will be updated on an ongoing basis.
Facilitate an Indigenous led Learning Circle
We are engaging and compensating Indigenous elders and artists of colour to lead a learning and healing circle for artists and community members of colour. The first circle will be hosted online in July to uphold current health restrictions but will become a regular gathering in our spaces. To learn more, be involved, or stay updated on future Learning Circle gatherings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: this is open to Indigenous artists and artists of colour only.
This is just a first step. It is not a solution. We commit to listening, learning, and changing. We commit to showing up and doing better.
Questions? Comments? Please email us at email@example.com and we will connect you with the right staff member.