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2021 IDEAA Web Policy


Goal: We will work to revise and establish institutional policies in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment; break the traditional barriers of participation; and enact equitable practices for all who engage with our organization.

Throughout its history, the Goodman has dedicated itself to the guiding principles of quality, diversity and community. With this in mind, the Goodman will further its definitions of these principles by deepening its commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, equity and accessibility, as well as ensuring that these values are integral to institutional policies and procedures. With a goal of ensuring a safe, respectful work environment for all, this cornerstone revises old and implements new guidelines to move the Goodman past a stated commitment to IDEAA into a lived reality.

Action: Create an IDEAA Committee of Goodman Theatre Boards

Description: Committee has convened to help form this IDEAA Action Plan. They will meet quarterly with the Staff Committee towards aligning strategy to achieve goals. The IDEAA Board Committee will use the upcoming quarter to focus on its goals and commitments, including, but not limited to, developing a succession plan inspired by work with the Ten Chimneys Foundation; auditing the Goodman’s current Human Resources policies; scheduling and participating in anti-racist training in conjunction with the Goodman Equity Leadership Group; and how they as a board will work to become an anti-racist entity. See Goodman Equity Leadership Group.

Status: Established and ongoing

Action: Establish a senior level director position dedicated to HR, diversity and inclusion

Description: Restore and modify our currently vacant HR staff position. This position deepens the work already in place through addressing issues of leadership development, management training, employee relations, performance management, onboarding, succession planning and more.

Status: Finalizing position description; to post soon

Action: Establish a “Community Agreement” for all who enter the Goodman

Description: The current working draft of this code of conduct appears below. As it’s finalized, we will take steps to ensure that our front-line staff (Front-of-House, Patron Relations, Ticket Services and Facilities personnel, among others) are trained and empowered to respond. This Community Agreement applies to all who enter and/or interact with the theater; it will be displayed on-site as well as on our virtual platforms.

As a cultural leader in Chicago, Goodman Theatre values equity, diversity and inclusion, and is committed to infusing these ideals into every aspect of our operations. We recognize that our individual intersectional identities represented across staff, board, artists and audiences bring vibrancy to our work and help make us better equipped to reflect our world—both on stage and off.

To that end, Goodman Theatre welcomes patrons, guests, artists, and community members of all abilities, ages, backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, races, sexual orientations, socio-economic statuses and all other identities, and makes a commitment to provide a safe and respectful space for all who join us.

We commit to providing a clean, secure and welcoming facility; and a safe, encouraging environment for all people.

To meet these commitments, we will maintain standards and guidelines for all employees, contractors, personnel and patrons.

Status: Drafted; under review

We welcome you to the Goodman, and ask that you join us in enacting these values. Behavior that is not in accordance with the values stated will not be tolerated. If you witness or experience such actions, please speak to management or email

Action: Make hiring and compensation practices transparent

Description: The Goodman commits to equitable practices and transparency for the hiring and compensation of our artists and staff. Though we are unable to hire for most positions during the pandemic, we will take this time to review our job postings, standardize language, commit to salary/wage transparency for all future postings and ensure that our interview processes are equitable and anti-racist.

Status: Reviewing current policies

Action: Implement estate and financial planning for all staff

Description: Create opportunities for employees to understand and utilize financial organization and security.

Status: Exploring connections within our Board of Trustees; action will be initiated with HR Director hire

Action: Establish a Goodman Theatre “Day of Service”

Description: The goal of a Day of Service is to encourage staff volunteerism. In addition, we intend to commit, as a staff, to at least one day of service to organizations that give back to the communities we serve.

Status: Identifying partner affinity organizations (those with whom we are alike in mission, values or purpose)

Action: Share IDEAA Action Plan with our Union partners

Description: Discussions with all of our union partners (IATSE/USA/AEA/etc.) regarding their Anti-Racism practice, policy and training for their members is essential to ensure that all staff and artists are working toward an equitable and anti-racist American society.

Status: Communication is underway

Action: Conduct holistic assessment of all talent development programs (Maggio Fellowship, Fellows, Apprentices, Interns, etc.)

Description: Audit our existing talent development programs to ensure equitable access, standardize on-boarding/out-boarding procedures and training opportunities to assure optimal experiences for all participants.

Status: Efforts are ongoing; applications will open when in-person work resumes.

Action: Review our paid holiday policies towards inclusivity

Description: Review our paid holiday policies towards inclusivity

Status: Under review

Offer Affinity Group participation for all under Goodman employ

Description: In August 2020, the Goodman introduced the following Affinity Groups for all staff participation (contact: Briana Fahey, secondary contact: Madeleine Borg)—

  • Black Affinity Group/Space
  • Disability Affinity Group
  • Femme/Women Affinity Group
  • Jewish Affinity Group
  • Latinx Affinity Group
  • LGBTQIA Affinity Group
  • Parent Affinity Group

An initial virtual meeting was scheduled with interested staff, during which a representative/contact from the Group was chosen. Each Group created a working agreement and discussed the purpose of the Group. The Groups all have access to Goodman’s Teams account for their regular virtual meetings. In the future, we will work to ensure that new hires as well as any artists joining us for productions will receive information regarding the Affinity Groups, with directions on how to join if they are interested.

At the Goodman, upon the creation of these Affinity Groups, we recognize it is imperative to create a structure that enables dissemination of information, achievable goals, removal of organizational power structures and timely meetings and functions for the best use of the group. All Affinity Groups will be supported financially within the organization, allowing for funding to create and support the work of the group within and outside of the organization.

Defining Affinity Groups: An Affinity Group is typically characterized by individuals forming around a common identity such as gender, sexual orientation, or race. The basis of an Affinity Group is to foster a ‘for us, by us’ experience that offers an antidote to being “the other”, “the outsider” or “the problem”.

Reasons for Affinity Groups: Affinity groups are commonly used in the business world, activist communities within the political structure, and within academia. Affinity Groups allow those who have been historically excluded or targeted due to systematic racism to create communities of support for themselves that prioritize their needs. Affinity Groups oftentimes allow for and should include networking, team-building, and allowing space for professional growth.

Status: Established and ongoing

Action: Increase BIPOC Board representation to 20% by 2022

Description: The Goodman has worked to maintain a Board that is inclusive. At the same time, we recognize that there is more work we must do towards a board that is reflective of our community. Our current BIPOC Board of Trustees representation is 15%. Over the next two years, we plan to increase BIPOC representation on the Board of Trustees to 20%, working to engage 7-8 new BIPOC Board Members over that time. Candidates will include BIPOC corporate and civic leaders as well as artistic voices. The Goodman understands, however, that such growth must be fostered through organic relationship-building in order to be sustainable; we will keep that in mind as we work toward that goal.

Current BIPOC representation on the Women’s Board is 12% and the Scenemakers Board is 28%. Both of these boards will work to identify their targets for increasing representation in the coming year as well.

Of course, our work continues towards growing BIPOC representation and representation from all marginalized/underrepresented groups—including members who identify as disabled and/or LGBTQIA+—across all three Boards in the years to come.

Status: The Nominating Process is ongoing, with plans for the Nominating and IDEAA Committees to collaborate on Board recruitment in the years ahead