The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities maintains a commitment to building an inclusive culture that reflects our diverse community and our core values as an organization.
Through a partnership with the Arvada Center Board of Directors and the newly launched Employee IDEA Task Force, we have begun identifying opportunities for growth and focus areas throughout all divisions of our multidisciplinary organization. This Task Force works in concert with members of the Arvada Center board, staff, and volunteer body to implement strategies designed to increase awareness and build an inclusive organizational structure.
The path to inclusion is not one with a steadfast destination. Rather, we reaffirm that this work is ongoing and requires continuous evaluation and accountability. The below initiatives are a non-exhaustive list of initiatives set forth by the IDEA Task Force and the IDEA Committee of the Board of Directors. With an open heart, we welcome you to learn more about this work by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access action statement below
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities was founded on the basic belief in community. A place where people could come together and experience the transcendent power of the arts and humanities. To learn, share, think, broaden, and be inspired.
Since this founding in 1976, our center has blossomed into a regional force - a beacon of high-quality programs in a variety of artistic disciplines. Throughout that time, we have been presented with challenges, both economic and social. We have navigated these waters and remained steadfast in our mission of celebrating and elevating the human condition with engaging arts, humanities, education and entertainment.
As 2021 begins, we are offered a moment to reflect on how we might move forward. The tide for racial justice that has swept our society alongside a pandemic that has disproportionately affected BIPOC communities has invigorated our organizational energy to create an inclusive environment, representative programming, a diverse community, accessible spaces, and an equitable lens through which to view our work.
In the past, we have made progress on our journey towards inclusion - community members and organizational leaders have committed time and resources to this effort and the groundwork has been laid. This past work is important for providing a launching point, but we have yet to see the type of meaningful change that will allow every visitor, every staff member, and every volunteer to feel welcomed and accepted as they are.
We have heard the ringing voices of the Black Lives Matter movement and the We See You, White American Theatre collective and now, we are elevating this work in order to move us closer to becoming a more inclusive place. The journey will be long and certainly not instantaneous, there will be bumps along the way and we are prepared to undertake this imperative work.
The actionable steps to be taken by the Arvada Center fall into a variety of areas - areas that will be examined through a formal process that includes the Employee IDEA Task Force and the IDEA Committee of the Board of Directors. These areas include:
We will create a slate of programs across all divisions that affirms and respects artists, educators, designers, and actors from under-represented and under-resourced backgrounds. This includes equitable theatre casting practices, hiring of instructors and teaching artists, class proposals, theatre season selections, jurying and curation of gallery exhibitions, and the process in which these programs are created (rehearsals, class planning, exhibition installation, etc).
The lifeblood of our organization is the people who call our organization home. The practices by which we recruit, hire, train, and retain employees, volunteers, and board members must respect and affirm people of all backgrounds, in particular those from underrepresented groups.
We will redefine what it means when we say the word “community.” We will provide education to staff, contractors, artists, board members, and volunteers on creating a welcoming space, eliminating barriers, and recognizing and addressing microaggressions, to name a few. The increase in cultural competency will also include education in anti-racism, rapid response conflict resolution, bystander intervention, and clearly-defined expectations of audiences and staff.
Accessible and Inclusive Spaces
In order to create a welcoming environment throughout our organization, we will be intentional about the way we invite people through our spaces (in-person or online), the way to remove barriers to participation, and the nature in which we engage our community in those spaces.
The above framework is an important component of creating an inclusive environment, but it is not the end. The journey towards inclusion will also include opportunities to assess our progress and take stock of what is yet to come.
This task force will also be held accountable by adopting a transparent method of working. A list of action steps will be made publicly available and feedback will be welcomed by volunteers, patrons, staff, and board members through an anonymous comment submission system.
The Employee IDEA Task Force at the Arvada Center was formed in the fall of 2020 to catalyze and take collective action in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity and access. Made up of employees from across all divisions of the organization, this task force has set forth goals and objectives in broad focus areas to expand the cultural landscape for everyone.
If you have comments, concerns, or ideas about how the Arvada Center can learn and become more inclusive, we welcome your feedback at email@example.com
Adam Stolte, Production Manager
Elizabeth Jamison, Audio Engineer
Kim Loiselle, Human Resources Coordinator
Leslie Simon, Content and Grant Writer
Lynne Collins, Artistic Director of Plays
Marcus Turner, Director of Communications
Michelle Peterson, Volunteer Services and Accessibility Manager
Philip Sneed, President and CEO
Sarah Kolb, Digital Communications Specialist
Teresa Cirrincione, Assistant Education Director
Teresa YoKell, Vice President of Advancement
The Arvada Center acknowledges that our facilities stand atop ancestral lands that include the Tsétsėhéstaestse (Cheyenne), the Hinono’eiteen (Arapaho), Nuche (Ute), and Oceti Sakowin (Lakota) nations. We offer respect to people of these nations—past, present and future. As we strengthen our resolve to honor their legacies we ask that you do so as well by giving pause to acknowledge the history of deceit, wrongdoing and Western settlement on their lands as well as the beauty of their languages, knowledge and strengths that informs our human experience today.
The Arvada Center strives to make the arts accessible to all people. As part of that effort, we produce theatrical performances for people with specific needs. For more information or to request an accessible performance please call the box office at 720-898-7200.
Read more about the kinds of accessibility options we offer for our live theatre productions.
Questions or suggestions? Contact Volunteer and Accessibility Manager Michelle Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a moment.
In this moment, our hearts break for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others.
In this moment, we reflect and ask: can we call ourselves inclusive if we remain silent about the heinous injustices taking place in front of our very eyes?
The answer resounds clearly. We take this moment to declare our truth as an organization and to raise our voices against racism and white supremacy.
This is a moment of truth. We see you. We stand with you.
The Arvada Center's mission is to celebrate and elevate the human condition and to expand the cultural landscape for everyone who visits us. We believe art has the power to remind us of our common humanity, to create empathy for those different from us and find connection in the things we share. With that in mind, we hold ourselves accountable to do better, and ask our community to do the same.
We acknowledge our own responsibility and culpability within a society that is inherently inequitable, and how we ourselves have contributed to this inequity. We know that actions are more meaningful than statements.
“Amplify” gives voice to Black creatives through music, performance, dance and spoken word. Produced and curated by Betty Hart, this series invites Black creatives in our community to share work and their words capturing how they feel in this moment - their hopes, fears, anger and joy.
Watch the most recent episode of "Amplify" here:
We're proud to collaborate with numerous groups and organizations in our community, including: