WHERE WE STAND
As San Francisco Ballet grieves the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others who have lost their lives to racist violence, we are called to take a deeper look within to consider what role each of us can play in battling systemic racism.
At San Francisco Ballet, throughout our own history, people of color including talented artists, staff, and patrons have had a meaningful impact on our journey and have helped us become the organization we are today. We recognize that we have received and benefited from the contributions of these individuals. We also recognize that we have much more to do to make everyone in our community feel included and valued. We acknowledge that as a diverse but predominantly white organization, we need to consider what we can do in the world of ballet with fresh eyes. We must not stop at listening and learning together, we must hold ourselves accountable for making progress as well as a visible difference through our work.
We have joined 20 other ballet companies to actively work together in the The Equity Project, an initiative spearheaded by Dance/USA, Dance Theatre of Harlem and The International Association of Blacks in Dance to collectively increase the presence of Blacks in Ballet. While we have in recent years instituted and pledged our commitment towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), we acknowledge that we have more work to do with a sense of urgency and resolve.
We share these reflections with our community to ask you to engage with us. Change is made when we commit to self-examine, to learn, and to take action. This week, we have been making room for challenging but essential conversations within our own organization. Our next steps and actions will emerge out of those conversations and collaborations and we will share more as they come together.
For now, we invite you to join us today on the SF Ballet website and our social media channels at 3:30 pm PDT to hear excerpts from two symposiums from the 2018 Unbound: A Festival of New Works: “how is contemporary ballet responding to the world around us?” and “what does it mean to make space for new and diverse perspectives, and creative voices in our field?”
We join the many voices that recognize this is a movement and a marathon, not a sprint. With commitment, passion and resolve we can make a difference…..and together we will.
SF Ballet DEI Mission Statement
SF Ballet’s DEI mission is to provide individuals an opportunity to achieve their full potential; enhance and strengthen our art form; and solidify our reputation as a preeminent arts organization, embodying innovation, excellence, and inclusion. We strive to share our joy of dance, while fostering a welcoming environment—both internally and externally—that celebrates and embraces many forms of diversity.
Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer
Kelly Tweeddale, Executive Director