Hold Running to Places Accountable
Running to Places is a huge presence in not just the Ithaca community, but the surrounding areas as well. The company has been a positive force in the lives of many young people. However, certain patterns within the company have long gone unchecked as the company continues to garner praise for its work. As the company grows, so should its ability to accept accountability, make necessary changes, and continue providing fun and educational experiences. This petition is in response to many conversations which community members have attempted to start with the company’s leadership which have been met with resistance and dismissal.
Below are the demands that we would like to see met. They are designed to help the company become a safe and welcoming place for local youth and those who support them. And, above all, to be a place in which any student can feel truly safe and supported in.
- Create a non-negotiable plan of action for claims of misconduct/abuse. Including a thorough investigation of all claims by at least three adults within the company which take into account any legal materials provided in support of those claims.
- Create a zero tolerance policy for perpetrators (including students, production team members, and technical crew members) resulting in removal from the company.
- Give proper credit to the Women and People of Color who make R2P shows possible. Make it standard practice to pay anyone who is working on the production team. Have paid positions be public knowledge and acknowledge the intent to pay those individuals at the start of each rehearsal process with an appropriate contract regardless of personal identity.
- Likewise, individuals who contribute their time and personal experience to the rehearsal process as consultants on issues of personal identity should be compensated for their time, knowledge, and emotional labor.
- Require all R2P leadership (including members of the Board, guest directors, choreographers, music directors, etc) complete training in preventing and responding to sexual harassment, misconduct, and assualt among teenagers. The title of this course (whether online or through local resources such as The Advocacy Center) should be made known via the company website and no adult should be able to participate for compensation or experience without this training.
- Similarly, all R2P leadership (including members of the Board, guest directors, choreographers, music directors, etc) should complete training in handling issues of personal identity such as race, color, size, gender, socio-economic class, etc. The title of this course (whether online or through local resources) should be made known via the company website and no adult should be able to participate for compensation or experience without this training.
- Hire appropriate staff/directors for shows involving content that is out of the artistic director's realm of expertise. This includes shows centered around social issues or culture. Not simply hiring “advisors” whose names can be put in the program without compensation.
- Engage in community outreach for all shows, not just shows which require an abundance of talent not found within the current company roster. This should include a forum for company parents to create carpools with others in their area they may not have met before. This could be as simple as providing a document with neighborhoods for cast families to identify themselves on should they choose to.
- Make minutes from Board Meetings available to the public through the company website and through the company newsletter.
- Advertise information about available board positions at the beginning of every season and create a system of elections for these positions including term limits.
Please sign this petition if you are interested in holding the leaders of R2P accountable for their actions and taking steps to make youth theatre in Ithaca a safe and welcoming place for all students.