Phamaly’s Commitment to Anti-racism Work
Since its inception, Phamaly has worked to build spaces and programs that are welcoming, supportive, and affirmative of artists and audiences who live with a disability. Since disability can impact anyone – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic class, or sexual orientation – the disability community is naturally diverse, and Phamaly has striven to create an environment where humans of any identity will be supported, safe, and successful. Yet, over three decades, Phamaly has been led predominantly by white, non-disabled, and cisgender staffs, boards, and artistic teams, and the organization has not done an adequate job of intentionally ensuring Phamaly is fully embodying the values of inclusion we have set forth.
Acknowledging Phamaly has not done enough to ensure we are lifting up disabled BIPOC (which stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Color), AAPI (which stands for Asian American, Pacific Islander), Latinx and other artists of color, and intentionally building a theatrical home that is safe and supportive for BIPOC, AAPI, and Latinx artists, staff, volunteers, and audiences, we have made a commitment to actively engage in anti-racism work.
We recognize this work needs to be done individually, as an organization, throughout our field, and beyond. We are committed to creating space to ensure this work remains a top priority for the organization.
Phamaly is just beginning its anti-racism work, and we will continue to do this work with our board, staff, and community. We will use this space to share where we are in this process as well as to hold ourselves accountable:
Black Lives Matter Statement
Phamaly released a statement in support of Black Lives Matter on June 3, 2020. Our statement was released through our e-blast, on social media, and on our website. The statement is available here.
The Phamaly Table
Phamaly began The Phamaly Table, a feature included in our e-blast, in July 2020. The Phamaly Table was created to be an invitation for folks to explore new subjects, tackle difficult conversations, and learn with us. As explained in the first installment, “There is a clear need in our society to reignite our empathy and understanding for one another as humans, and in particular, to bring focus to people and communities that have systematically been dehumanized - people with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQIA folx, and Indigenous peoples. We need to rehumanize!” If you would like to receive Phamaly’s e-blast, including The Phamaly Table, you may sign up for our e-blast in the footer of this page.
Phamaly put out an open invitation to anyone in our community who was interested in sharing their experience in the summer of 2020. The invitation was specifically geared toward BIPOC artists, but was open to all artists’ input. We received a small but incredibly meaningful response. The feedback reinforced concerns Phamaly has been addressing for some time and illuminated additional concerns about how members of our community have not felt adequately supported, included, or, in some cases, have felt actively harmed by the actions or inactions of the organization.
Phamaly created the grounding statement in September 2020, including acknowledging the land we are on. We have been and will continue to read our grounding statement at the beginning of all of our gatherings. The grounding statement is available here.
EDI/Anti-racism Advisory Group
Phamaly created our EDI (which stands for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)/Anti-racism Advisory Group, which first met in February 2021. The Advisory Group is comprised of diverse stakeholders from the organization and the Phamaly community, including artists, staff, and board members. It has been tasked with providing input and recommendations to the organization around a variety of topics related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as anti-racism practice. Two Phamaly staff members provide administrative support for the group, and members of the Advisory Group who are not staff or board are compensated for their time. Board participants count their time toward their board commitment and staff members count their time toward staff hours.
EDI/Anti-Racism Advisory Group Members:
Stacey D'Angelo, Twanna LaTrice Hill, Annie Jacobs, Laurice Quinn, Marcelina Ramirez, Darion Ramos, Ianna Rasberry-Jenkins, Nick Renaud, Sheila Traister, Stewart Tucker, Gregg Vigil
Recommendations from Phamaly’s EDI/Anti-racism Advisory Group
Statement on The Wiz
We acknowledge the cultural appropriation that occurred when Phamaly produced a multicultural, multiracial version of The Wiz. We have included the following statement on our website, where the The Wiz is featured, and we will include a link to this statement any time the organization references the production in the future (including photos from the production, etc.). The statement is at the top of The Wiz page on Phamaly's Website.
Resource on Cultural Appropriation
In an effort to support the Phamaly community’s EDI and anti-racism work, we will include resources to help educate and further the conversation here. Please be aware the resources provided were not created by Phamaly.
Any videos included here are under Fair Use:
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act in 1976; allowance is made for “Fair Use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Fair Use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Nonprofit educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of Fair Use.
All rights and credit go directly to its rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.
As Phamaly continues its work and receives recommendations from the EDI/Anti-racism Advisory Group, the organization will include all commitments made here.
For more information, to offer feedback, and/or for any questions, please contact Phamaly by phone at 303-365-0005 or by email at info@phamalyorg.