Stuart’s Opera House remains committed to our mission to be a regional leader in the arts community, a center for public expression, and an economic development partner for Southeast Ohio. We acknowledge that our historic theater sits on the traditional homelands of the Shawnee, Adena, and Hopewell peoples. We recognize the ever-present systemic inequities that stem directly from this painful history of colonization and commit ourselves to acknowledging and reckoning with our role in this long history of injustice. Stuart’s is committed to being more intentional in the role we can play for racial justice. We also commit to being more inclusive of people historically and currently marginalized based on identity including gender, sexuality, class, and heritage. We wish to publicly express that hate and systemic oppression have no home in our organization and we pledge to do the following:
- Make diversity and inclusion more than just a statement, but evident in our actions.
- Hire more People of the Global Majority (Black, indigenous, people of color +), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + people, and women as performers and teaching artists.
- Diversify our board of directors.
- Increase staff diversity.
- Recognize our location in Appalachia and the historic and current erasure of Affrilachians and people of color here, along with the historic and current oppression and marginalization related to labor, resource extraction, and generational poverty in the region.
- Observe what populations are not being served by our organization and listen and learn how to be more inclusive and accessible.
- We will work to provide authentic arts experiences to everyone in our community, not just those who have access because access isn’t enough; we need EQUITABLE access if we want true inclusion. We won’t just provide affordable and accessible educational and arts programs to everyone with ample scholarships; we will work to recognize the systemic barriers to participation that go beyond cost.
Stuart’s Opera House wholeheartedly believes in the essential role the arts have always played in progressing culture by critiquing, imagining, inspiring, and leading us all forward.