I vow to not accept work at Victory Gardens unless the current B


Target: 2500
Signatories:
1997
Start petition: 2022-07-08 03:32:13

#accept   #Victory   #Gardens   #unless   #current   

Dear Theater Community, 


THE TIME IS NOW! 


WE DEMAND: The Board of Directors announce the intent to resign in full and assist with a peaceful transition of power that allows the theater to remain open.
The Board has until July 18 to make these changes. 

The following is a list of action items YOU can do to support VGT Artists, Staff and Leadership: 

"I, (name, occupation, location/organization), stand with the Artists, Staff and Leadership of Victory Gardens Theater. I vow to not accept work at this institution unless the current Board resigns . "


WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT: 

This theater is one of 6 Tony Award-winning theaters in Chicago. It is also one of the few theaters in the country dedicated to new work by marginalized playwrights. VG is too important to the Chicago Theater Community; we do not want to see it go under.


WHAT BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT? 

The Victory Gardens Board of Directors’ patterns of toxic behavior have made it impossible for this Black-led, mission-centric organization to succeed, leading to the loss of its leadership, the resignation of all resident artists, and a joint plea from staff and artists for the Board’s resignation and the reinstatement of Ken-Matt Martin as Artistic Director.

Ken-Matt Martin was hired to lead Victory Gardens in April 2021, after an extensive and inclusive search process. He took over a theater recovering from tumult, caused by previous decisions of the Board and also resulting in the mass resignation of the Playwrights Ensemble (LINK: https://medium.com/@ofvictorygardensplaywrights/letter-from-the-playwrights-of-victory-gardens-theater-fcbd3e1d1840 ). Since then, Ken-Matt, along with Acting Managing Director Roxanna Conner and the artists and staff of Victory Gardens have worked tirelessly to rebuild trust and to implement new programming and anti-racist policies to build a more equitable theater for the community. 

Despite hiring Ken-Matt Martin and Roxanna Conner to lead this organization, the Board has repeatedly ignored their advice, undermined their leadership, and dismissed their expertise, as well as remaining closed to expressed staff concerns. 

On July 5, 2022, the Chair of the VG Board informed the staff that Ken-Matt Martin was “on leave” as Artistic Director. The leave appears to be neither voluntary nor temporary.

Concurrently, the Board Chair informed the staff that the search for an Executive Director, which began in November 2021 and held finalist interviews in February 2022, had failed, with no candidates accepting the offered job. While VG waited for an Executive Director, 7 staff members resigned and were not replaced. A staff that included 22 full-time pre-pandemic staff now includes only 9 full-time non-executive employees. 

In the midst of the Executive Director search, the Board purchased the storefront next to Victory Gardens over the objections of the artistic leadership; meanwhile, the existing theater building is in a state of disrepair, with heating and cooling frequently broken, bathrooms regularly overflowing, and a chronically leaking roof–as well as major technical issues in both theaters.

In response to both ongoing misgovernance on the Board’s part, as well as the revelations of this week, the Playwrights Ensemble and Resident Directors resigned en masse - see their official statement here: https://isaacgomez.medium.com/we-resign-93c7b54158af 

On July 6, 2022, the 9 remaining Full-Time Non-Leadership Staff Members posted a statement of solidarity, calling for the resignation of the Board, on the official Victory Gardens social media pages. Those accounts were hijacked and posts subsequently removed while the staff were locked out of their social media accounts. See their statement on their alt instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfr5-Pprb4i/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Step 1:

Sign it


Step 3:

Share this petition



Last Comments

Becky Phillips Putney   ( 2022-07-18 22:41:28 )

You are talented!
Sarah Lee Ratliff   ( 2022-08-10 16:16:08 )

This is a great metaphor!
Anonymous commenter   ( 2022-10-01 22:29:55 )

This is clear, concise, and complete!
Larry Tassinari   ( 2022-07-23 01:06:01 )

I can tell this is your best effort!
Barbara Kanipe   ( 2022-09-16 01:29:50 )

Every single sentence in this paper is wonderful!
Elie Amato   ( 2022-08-09 01:21:48 )

You show great attention to detail!
Anonymous commenter   ( 2022-10-06 01:38:23 )

This is great work!
Ann sofie Mellgren   ( 2022-10-04 13:38:57 )

You show great promise!
Anonymous commenter   ( 2022-09-04 19:23:51 )

You have a lot of fabulous ideas in this paper!
Lynn Duddy   ( 2022-08-17 23:31:43 )

This is a very powerful sentence!
Charlene Mayorga Rivas   ( 2022-10-01 03:13:02 )

I admire you!
Âssãné Båküs   ( 2022-07-25 01:41:26 )

You have amazing potential!
Darlene Jones Martin   ( 2022-07-15 10:04:23 )

You are so smart!
Deepika Pradhan   ( 2022-09-26 12:45:08 )

You are so clever!
Adv Rokhsana Yeasmin   ( 2022-10-05 02:34:16 )

You are an amazing writer!
Kandi Denney Whitaker   ( 2022-07-22 03:39:18 )

This is beautiful!
Karon Berg   ( 2022-08-06 05:59:15 )

What an accomplishment!
June Stone   ( 2022-09-22 15:43:34 )

I see so much improvement in your work! Im proud of you!
Toni T Brown   ( 2022-07-20 22:57:40 )

What brilliant thinking!
Michael Holiday   ( 2022-08-06 06:49:57 )

Way to stay focused! Im proud of you!
Harman Grewal   ( 2022-09-10 03:35:43 )

You are quite gifted!
Steven Baxter   ( 2022-08-15 12:38:01 )

Perfect!
Damilola Michael Peter   ( 2022-07-23 11:46:42 )

Youre showing inventive ideas!
Jeffrey Jennell   ( 2022-07-25 23:27:13 )

I appreciate your hard work!
Grace Mantyh   ( 2022-10-01 08:41:12 )

This is a wonderful thesis! Good job!
Alleta Jones   ( 2022-08-01 13:37:05 )

I can tell this is your best effort!
Ramona Bailey   ( 2022-08-11 20:01:49 )

Im giving you a high-five for this essay!
Jamie Cummings Pope   ( 2022-10-05 09:03:33 )

You are a superstar!
Rekar Aziz   ( 2022-08-07 18:25:32 )

The sentence structure you used here is brilliant!
Tom Nieboer   ( 2022-08-25 12:14:30 )

You are very preceptive!

Top 10 donaters

Michael Penton: 190 $
( 2022-07-15 05:51:09 )
Ahmed Vahidh: 184 $
( 2022-09-04 20:38:25 )
JoAnn Wimberly: 124 $
( 2022-09-16 11:05:01 )
Sharon Gray: 111 $
( 2022-07-29 11:33:26 )
Mike Shaft Warren: 73 $
( 2022-09-19 14:50:16 )
Barbara Metzler Dible: 65 $
( 2022-09-22 15:18:13 )
Linda Eschbach: 52 $
( 2022-09-01 03:31:18 )
Tonya Dixon: 47 $
( 2022-09-21 19:23:13 )
Ana M Acosta Lewis: 46 $
( 2022-09-15 17:40:00 )
Gurjit Batth: 34 $
( 2022-09-03 13:40:01 )

Contact