We are one year into our rebuilding journey post-pandemic and our big leadership change. Our facilitators and Board of Directors are thrilled with the success of this past year and from the bottom of our hearts, we’re truly thankful for the community and your generous support.
As we grow and evolve, we want to ensure that the people who choose us as their improv school can learn in a safe, relaxed and welcoming environment.
Since its inception, the Improv Embassy has been committed to building a learning environment built around safer spaces, with a focus on nurturing a community of comedians who punch up at the powers that be. In the midst of the day-to-day work that came with running an improv school, however, we found ourselves resting on our laurels.
During our pandemic hiatus, we revisited our organisation’s mandate and goals and today, we realize that we don’t have all the answers; and that’s a good thing! We don’t want to hang our hats on a single solution and call it a day.
“Today, we realize that we don’t have all the answers–and that’s a good thing!”
– Joshua Mayo, Embassy Faculty Member.
Instead, we’re moving forward with the understanding that you have the answers, and like good improvisers, it’s our job to listen and yes, and. We’ve distilled our reflections into a statement of principles to guide our work.
As a theatre school:
- we understand that diversity, equity and inclusion are core parts of our mission to provide a safer space for truthful comedy;
- we operate in a way that amplifies historically marginalized voices;
- we acknowledge that any commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion is ongoing and enduring;
- and we act in service to the community, with humility, curiosity, and a willingness to listen.
To match these principles we needed a new code of conduct and more.
“The new code was created to be plainly written and values based. Rather than a lengthy list of what you can’t do, we hope to begin from an understanding of what makes our community safe.”
– Jason Summers, Improv Embassy Board Member.
Over the past year, we’ve been developing a new conduct policy that aligns with our principles. The new code draws from some tenants of restorative justice and around repairing harm. As Jason Summers, an Improv Embassy Board member, explains, “The new code was created to be plainly written and values based. Rather than a lengthy list of what you can’t do, we hope to begin from an understanding of what makes our community safe.” – Jason Summers, Improv Embassy Board Member. The code is now available on our website so please check it out.
In addition to planning our future programming, we’ve also got the following projects in the pipeline:
- Developing a new internal health and safety policy
- Updating our scholarship policy
- Engaging in outreach to bring improv to historically marginalized communities
- Creating more opportunities for our students to give us feedback
We’re not perfect, and we don’t intend to be. By listening to and learning from each other, we can all build the kind of school we want to be. Reach out to us anytime with your concerns by email: [email protected], and we’ll set up some time to chat!