Being the Change We Want to See:
An Invitation to Join Our Board 

Our mission is to bring the theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from and about Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England to Atlanta.

What we have always struggled with is bringing a more diverse group of artists and artistic leaders into our orbit. Yes, we have had some, but not enough. So we are adjusting our approach and looking inward to the core of the company — the board of directors.

We recognize it is overdue for us to make diversity a priority at every level of the organization. We believe that by changing representation in leadership, we will create an organization that attracts artists of color as well. Representation matters. We cannot continue to be a proud member of Atlanta’s theatre community and fail when it comes to reflecting the diversity of that community amongst our own group. Continuing to do so would be a disservice to theatre as an art, the local community we hold dear, and the beliefs the current board members personally hold.

We recognize it is overdue for us to make diversity a priority at every level of the organization. We believe that by changing representation in leadership, we will create an organization that attracts artists of color as well. Representation matters. We cannot continue to be a proud member of Atlanta’s theatre community and fail when it comes to reflecting the diversity of that community amongst our own group. Continuing to do so would be a disservice to theatre as an art, the local community we hold dear, and the beliefs the current board members personally hold.

So, we are inviting anyone in Greater Atlanta who would like to join us and help reshape our company in the image of Atlanta’s diverse and vibrant community to apply to be a member of our board.

This invitation is extended without reservation to all persons, regardless of race, gender expression, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective.

We ask that anyone wishing to join this dedicated group understands the following:

We are a volunteer organization; with no paid company employees. We have no space of our own; we rent. We are small-scale and will be for the foreseeable future. We do the work ourselves: board meetings, committee meetings, producing shows, hiring, budgeting, acting and directing, and celebrating. We ask our board members to commit their passion and time to the success of the company. In turn, our promise to anyone who is, has, or may in the future work with us as a board member, artist, or volunteer, is that you will have a wonderful experience and always want to work with us.

So we make the following specific commitments:

  • Add at least two BIPOC members to our board by summer 2023
  • Follow, at minimum, Suzi guidelines for diversity in bringing companies together for all the shows that we do
  • Adjust future programming to better reflect the diversity of Atlanta and the communities we serve, including the selection of plays, writers, creative teams, casts, and crew, according to our mission
  • Offer regular EDI training for our board, production staff, artistic associates, and volunteers to create a welcome environment for all who collaborate with us and our audiences
  • Continue to actively listen, learn, and fight to end racism

Board Member Expectations and Responsibilities

  • Fundraise
  • Advocate
  • Advise
  • Community Outreach
  • Attend Board Meetings
  • Attend Arís Productions and Functions (as much as possible)

The Skills We’re Looking For

  1. Fundraising / Resource Development
  2. Planning / Business Planning / Strategic Planning (preferably senior management with non-profit experience and/or small business experience)
  3. Finance / Accounting
  4. Grant Writing
  5. Legal Knowledge / Connections
  6. Board Governance / Policy
  7. Public Relations / Marketing / Social Media

It is our sincere hope that this invitation is only the beginning of real change for our company. We are small and things may be slower than in a corporation. However, we are committed to this change, and we cannot do it without your support and engagement.

If you are moved to respond to this call, please contact us by emailing aris@aristheatre.org to express your interest. We also welcome you to share this with anyone else you feel may be interested.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Rob Shaw-Smith
Board Chair
Arís Theatre