10 Jan An Update from The Nursery’s Management
This is an update to the letter posted by our Board of Trustees around the resignation of our former Outreach and Inclusion Manager and the accompanying circumstances. In the time since we have undertaken some of the actions outlined in the previous letter whilst taking the first steps towards others. Here is a summary of the same:
Community Town Halls
Three virtual Town Hall meetings were conducted with students, performers and teachers currently engaged at The Nursery. Led by the Senior Management Team (SMT), these Town Hall sessions offered open dialogue where those attending shared their questions and concerns. Additional conversations were had in one-on-one and group meetings with the Nursery staff. We will be hosting one in the first week of February. If you would like to attend this, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following an internal review of the correspondence and meeting notes by the Board of Trustees, an independent member of the international improvisation community was invited to join and review the material. Aided by one of our trustees, they recommended the following to the Board:
- Given that the Nursery team has seen changes to senior management, facilitators and trustees since the beginning of the pandemic, the Nursery’s identity has not evolved with the inclusion of new faces and remains inaccessible and hidden to many in the community. It is recommended that more be done to introduce the team to the wider public through communications and make contacting them directly more accessible.
- It is imperative to keep listening to the voices of the Nursery community. It is recommended that the Nursery team share interactive content, including surveys, suggestions boxes and also hold Town Halls to hear from the community in a safe environment for all those present.
- A wholly independent investigation along with training of the Nursery staff in unconscious bias must be conducted. The claims of resistance to new ideas indicate that important ideas are not finding a space at the Nursery. In order to identify these issues, training is required to make sure team and staff members can be more aware of the implications of their decisions and communications and what their effect may be on students, collaborators, team and community members
The Board have commissioned Counter Culture, specialists in inclusive organisational practice, to undertake an appraisal of the circumstances surrounding these events and to review the Nursery’s working methods and structure. We expect to receive their findings and recommendations by March, and we will share our learning from this and our plans on our website.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Consultation
To improve our current working methods, address concerns raised by members of the community and build a more inclusive working culture at The Nursery, we committed to undertaking additional knowledge building and training. We will be working with Talawa Theatre Company who will be conducting a sustained Anti-Racism and Unconscious Bias training for members of the staff, management and trustees at The Nursery. The delivery of this solutions-based training are currently being worked out and is scheduled to commence from February 2022 onwards.
The last six months have been a pivotal turning moment for The Nursery’s mission and the team behind it. For most of 2020 and 2021, we programmed online courses, shows and other initiatives that were informed by the artistic direction of the organization from the last 10 years of our existence. Since the fall of 2020, The Nursery underwent a complete restructure, moving away from a founder-led operation. Our current team, is small, but multinational, working part-time across 5 different countries / timezones to realize our upcoming programs as well as steer the organization in this period of change. The past six months have had us revisiting the new structure and working towards a leadership and financial model that allows us to sustain ourselves as a small arts organization while expanding our goals as a charity. As we step in 2022, leading this change along with the rest of the SMT will be our new General Manager Kandy Rohmann.
You will see updates about upcoming classes, jams and shows at The Nursery as we commence our programming for this year. We are working hard to realize a blended programming model, with both online and in-real-life offerings, for the community. We will return to programming our panel discussions and talks with the community and kickstart other initiatives that align with our new mission and activities.
We invite you to engage with this letter by sharing your thoughts, feedback and comments via email to email@example.com.
Thank you for reading this letter and for being a part of the community.
The Nursery Management Team