Anti-racism and Equity


On-going Equity & Anti-Racism Commitments, Practices & Actions

As of March 10, 2023

Hartford Stage continues to acknowledge our history as a predominantly white and white-led institution in a city with a population that is majority Black, Brown and Latiné and work toward policies and structures that build greater equity and belonging at the theatre. The leadership team, staff, and board of Hartford Stage are committed to the ongoing practice of anti-racism and social justice to create a more welcoming, inclusive, diverse, and equitable organization for all.

We recognize the ingrained biases within our institution and the short- and long-term actions needed to practice anti-racism and to achieve sustainable structural shifts. We are committed to transparently sharing our progress and maintaining accountability to ourselves and our community. Some of our progress includes a revamped hiring process that democratizes input and feedback in efforts to eliminate bias, a financial line item focused solely on supporting EDI trainings and practices, a continued commitment to hiring diverse creative teams and artists, and regular gatherings with staff members for continued dialogue and skill set building.

We aspire to a culture of constant reflection, commitment and re-commitment, practice, and continued growth, which we know will include mistakes, failures, and continued learning. We believe in and welcome democracy through conversation. This progress is a living and working compilation of activity, with contributions from our leadership team, staff, and board. This is not intended to be a checklist, but a way to keep the work transparent.

As we enter a new era for the organization and for the industry at large, we continue to envision into what it takes to create a sustainable, relevant, equitable, responsible, and welcoming regional theatre that speaks to and represents the vast diversity of our city and region.


We strive to create a place where all people feel a sense of belonging across the organization. We strive to create a culture where everyone sees themselves, their styles, their culture, and their humanity reflected and appreciated in all the work we do.

The following goals work towards a culture of belonging and inclusion:

Engaging more historically excluded artists, with a heightened focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists and community members

  • A recommitment to producing a season of plays that tell diverse stories and have writers and directors of diverse backgrounds
  • Commitment to the seasons’ creative teams being at least 50% BIPOC artists
  • With support from the Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation & Joyce Willis, engaging a Black Artist for a two-year residency (2022-2024)
    • Director Christopher Betts was named our Willis Artist for 2022-2024
  • Two bi-lingual (Spanish & English) events per season
  • Further development of Radio Plays Project in collaboration with CT Public featuring BIPOC stories rooted in local history

Completed Previous Actions:

  • New Play Festival focused on writers with Latiné and Hispanic roots (June, 2021)



  • Recruitment priority of LGBTQ+, Black, Latina/o/x and/or Hispanic, and Spanish-speaking board members
  • Creation of Board “Latinidades” Advocacy Group
  • Opening participation from non-Board members to serve on committees
  • Continuation of Stage One Young Professional Board program that invites early career professionals into the Board room
  • Anti-racism & Equity on agenda for all full board meetings


Completed Previous Actions:

  • Representative participated in the National Board Training with artEquity



  • Revising Education curricula with anti-racist lens; updating text selections to ensure representation of diverse stories and storytellers
  • Expanding performances open to Capital Community College students
  • Hiring, building, and strengthening relationships with local teaching artists


Local Engagement

  • Host gatherings designed to build relationships and networking opportunities for local artists and/or local community leaders
  • Continued relationship building with local BIPOC communities, organizations, vendors, and individuals across the region through events, meetings, and open dialogue
  • Inviting and curating BIPOC local vendors to sell goods in our lobby during performances
  • Annual Free Open House at theater with free activities, food, and performance; explicitly engaging local vendors and partners
  • Continuation of partnership with Hartford Public Library providing free tickets to productions via library branches


Internal Practices

  • Land Acknowledgement included in playbill, on website, and spoken at top of rehearsal process & select meetings & events
  • Use of pronouns in email signatures
  • Spanish language materials & captioning for events when possible
  • Increased marketing and advertising spend with local Spanish-language media
  • Identifying, disrupting, and directly addressing coded and uncoded racist language, images, conversations, and practices that arise at the organization and in our spaces.



  • Bi-lingual (Spanish & English) signage for gender affirming restroom usage
  • Single Stall restrooms available for use in office/rehearsal space, backstage, and at scene shop
    • Working toward installation of gender neutral/family friendly restroom availability for audiences
  • Non-gendered guest artist dressing rooms; flexibility in guest artist dressing room coordination and accommodation
  • Baby changing table always available for use upon request internally or publicly


We strive to equip our staff, volunteers, and board with continued learning to strengthen and deepen their personal and collective understanding of the inequity and injustices within and outside of our organization. We strive to offer opportunities that help build skillsets that bring greater consciousness into every aspect of the organization, ultimately leading to greater equity. 

The following goals work towards our continued learning and skillset building:


  • We continue to seek leadership, guidance, support, and wisdom from internal and external partners, tools, and resources.
    • Some organizations we have built partnerships with and offer trainings from include the following: artEquity, CEIO (Co-Creating Effective & Inclusive Organization) – KALE (Keeping Accountable to Liberation & Equity) program completed December of 2021 with staff leadership; Thought Partner Solutions; Production on Deck; Grace Figueredo and Matt Luginbuhl, Right To Be


  • Commitment to prioritizing and making accessible ongoing equity and anti-racism training as part of employee and volunteer professional development and expectation
    • Annual artEquity Everyday Justice Training completion expected for all staff; secondary training Strategies for Change also offered for continued learning
    • Annual Sexual Harassment Prevention Training with Jackson Lewis
    • Right To Be “8 Ways to Mitigate Bias” and “Bystander Intervention in the Workplace/Public” made available and expected for all staff and volunteers
    • Additional trainings and resources offered as available



  • Dedicated budget line item for equity & anti-racism training and resources
  • Monthly senior team dialogue and workshops on anti-racism (how it affects the organization, new practices, learnings, resources, activities)
  • Bi-Monthly full staff dialogue/workshops on anti-racism and building equity mindsets and skillsets
  • 1×1 conversations with all members of staff and senior team member to discuss Action Plan and their reflections and feedback
  • Working towards a process of formalizing individual equity and anti-racism professional development plans for staff
  • Creating an internal culture of regular sharing of articles, books, recordings, podcasts, etc focused on inclusion, equity and anti-racism, and a central location for housing resources
  • Building support networks amongst ourselves and other arts and local organizations to support anti-racist practices and dialogues strengthening the work


We strive to build an organization that recognizes the humanity of every member of our staff, board, volunteer, audience, and community member and the needs and necessities to live and thrive in the 21st century.


  • $15 minimum wage across the organization
  • Developing more expansive networking and outreach for open positions
  • Continued commitment to recruiting diverse candidate pools and candidates with strong equity and anti-racism skills
  • Re-defined hiring procedures, practices, language, and processes, including a shift to committee hiring to help eliminate bias (major shift completed in Fall of 2021; refinement and adjustment ongoing)
    • Defined hiring competencies as Communication, Collaboration, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Creativity, and specific role skillset



  • Commitment to not relying on volunteer services for activity outside original scope of work
  • Compensating freelance teaching artists for prep and planning time



  • Relationship building and commitment to using local BIPOC vendors
  • Budget transparency and explicit discussion of equity within the budget
  • Mileage reimbursement at the standard IRS rate
  • Anonymous feedback and reporting outlets always available
  • Creation of annual job fair & networking session for production roles cross collaboratively with producing theatres in the state
  • Re-envisioning apprentice and intern programs to build more equitable opportunities for early career professionals
    • Commitment to paying all individual interns for their work at the organization
  • Creating a more equitable and sustainable schedule and being in consistent dialogue with staff around time needs of each production, including the elimination of 10 out of 12s during tech week as standard.

We are committed to anti-racist practice and a spirit of transparency and responsiveness. If you have any questions, please reach out to