Penn Live Arts is committed to fostering a community that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, among our employees, students, artists and audiences, on our stages and off. We affirm one another’s differences by honoring the many cultures, perspectives and experiences that we bring to our stages, and through the stories our artists tell. Through our programming, our engagement with students and the communities of the greater Philadelphia region, and our efforts to create and amplify a culture based on acceptance and inclusivity, we believe these values will lead us toward a more equitable society.
In summer 2020, we established Penn Live Arts’ first Antiracism and DEIA Task Force. Encompassing staff members from across the organization, the Task Force leads initiatives including workplace diversity and staff diversification; fair and equitable hiring practices; solicitation of staff feedback to enable all employees to have a voice within the organization; and substantive DEIA training and workshops to inform and improve our current practices. We seek to further diversify our staff and Board of Advisors, expand our education and community programs, and enhance the accessibility of our programs and facilities.
Since our founding in 1971, our performing arts series has been committed to supporting, presenting, commissioning and producing work from a wide range of artists. This 50-year legacy has introduced Philadelphia audiences to artists of diverse backgrounds and heritage and programs that examine contemporary cultural issues. With excellence, innovation, cultural relevance and impact as our guideposts, we present outstanding artists, from local and emerging performers to nationally and internationally renowned stars, offering not only a variety of genres and disciplines but also a window into diverse perspectives from across the globe. We encourage cross-cultural communication and understanding by creating opportunities for discussion and reflection between our artists and audiences.
As a bridge connecting Penn with our immediate neighborhood and the city of Philadelphia, we evolve our community programs to be responsive to current events. It is important to us that we connect authentically with people throughout our region and enable everyone to feel welcome and able to attend and participate in Penn Live Arts programming, regardless of their background, ability or means. We are committed to presenting annual programs that attract students, young audiences and families and to maintaining partnerships with community organizations. We offer discounted tickets to students and members of the Penn community, our West Philadelphia neighbors, and active military and veterans.
We recognize that our DEIA efforts will be ongoing and evolving, and we commit to making it a priority to regularly evaluate our organizational practices, programming, communications, hiring practices and accessibility of our facilities through the lens of our DEIA values. Now and in our future, we will continually work to create an inclusive and inspiring experience where all are welcome and feel valued.