Racial Equity Statement

PNB acknowledges ballet’s historical disparities and unequal opportunities for people of color. PNB is committed to building a fully inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural organization, and creating space for shifting perspectives that reflect our industry’s continual growth.

PNB recognizes that diversity and diverse perspectives are powerful drivers of creativity, innovation, and evolution within classical ballet. PNB aims to channel the vast creative resources within our organization in creating an environment that fosters inclusivity and advancement, both at PNB and the ballet world at large.

PNB embraces the following commitments:

  • In alliance with the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, PNB commits to leading with race in order to address the historical and structural oppression faced by people of color in the arts.
  • PNB commits to utilizing its Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (I.D.E.A.) Committee to promote inclusivity and equitable practices throughout all facets of the organization.
  • PNB commits to continually assessing our hiring practices and internal policies using a racial equity lens with the ultimate goal of attracting more diverse individuals to the organization and integrating more diverse perspectives across all departments and leadership levels, including the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council.
  • PNB commits to building PNB artist, board, faculty, staff, student and volunteer awareness about issues relating to race and other forms of diversity.
  • PNB commits to facilitating training and promoting other opportunities for continuing education for all artists, board, faculty, and staff relating to equity, race and other forms of diversity, access and inclusion.
  • PNB commits to ensuring our artistic output is reflective of our community and our goals surrounding our I.D.E.A. work.
  • PNB commits to cultivating authentic relationships and engagement with under-invited and under-served communities throughout the greater Seattle region.
  • PNB commits to selecting collaborators, partners, independent contractors, and financial investors whose practices align with PNB’s core principles around Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility.
  • PNB commits to maintaining public transparency via PNB’s newsletters, website, and annual reporting.
  • PNB commits to inviting feedback relating to racial equity initiatives and other IDEA work from artists, board, faculty, staff, student and families, volunteers, audiences, and community partners.

*Matrix of identities (including but not limited to): race, national origin, citizenship status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, socioeconomic status, etc.

**Stakeholders: PNB employees, dancers, volunteers, board, students and families, audience, and community partners

Further Information

Since 2015, PNB has:

  • Joined the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Racial Equity Learning Cohorts, which was part of the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), Seattle’s commitment to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity in Seattle (Turning Commitment Into Action).
  • Joined The Equity Project, led by Dance/USA, Dance Theater of Harlem, and The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD).
  • Created an Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Committee, comprised of PNB employees, artists, and board members. The EDI Committee is the body that holds, drives, and keeps PNB accountable for tactics and progress toward the organization’s equity goals.
  • Hosted Beyond Ballet Town Hall in 2017 to investigate the aesthetics of ballet and its lack of diversity and equity.
  • Increased audition access in communities historically under-invited to participate in PNBS’ internationally recognized ballet training, as well as adding new cities to the PNB School Audition Tour, including Baltimore, Tokyo, and Osaka.
  • Introduced Dance for PD to the PNB School.
  • Joined the Seattle Center Racial Equity Cohort (SCREC) to collaborate and strategize in making Seattle Center and its resident organizations more accessible and welcoming as a community gathering place for the for the entire Pacific Northwest.

In addition, PNB:

  • Continues to work with children and adults from marginalized populations through its Community Education Programs and School.
  • Offers tuition-free training and scholarships through PNB School’s DanceChance program.
  • Has a continuous improvement model-based Racial Equity Plan which includes strategies for successful community partnerships, marketing, hiring practices, racial equity trainings, and artistic choices. PNB’s Racial Equity Plan was used as a foundation for the organization’s larger Strategic Plan.

Written in September 2019, and updated January 2021 by members of PNB’s Racial Equity Committee