The Groundlings organization recognizes and acknowledges that we have not done a good enough job in amplifying and supporting the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our school and on our stage. While we have seen the positive effects of diversity initiatives first launched in 2015, we know have a long way to go and are committed to making effective long-term change.
Working with the organization since 2016, Povi-Tamu Bryant at Freedom Verses has been engaged with an increased scope of work to strengthen the Groundlings’ efforts to be an anti-racist organization and further our commitment to change and social accountability. A local strategic planning firm with a specialization in diversity, equity and inclusion practices, Freedom Verses are implementing new framework, policies and practices on all levels of the institution.
We Are Committed
It is important for us to foster an organizational culture of diversity, inclusion and anti-racism by changing internal structures that have sustained a lack of these tenets. Here are some of the ways we commit to achieving these goals:
We commit to being actively anti-racist as an organization. We will provide regular anti-racist training for all artists, staff members, and teachers, and take measures to ensure accountability at all levels.
We commit to providing monthly workshops specifically for our BIPOC students so they can experience being a majority in the classroom.
We commit to ensuring more BIPOC voices will appear on our stage.
We commit to improve our hiring practices and establish more diversity parity in our artists, staff, and teachers.
We commit to engaging in a dialogue that helps us amplify BIPOC voices and confront our implicit bias.
We commit to listening. Write to us and tell us how we can do better: [email protected]
Groundlings Value Statement
We endeavor to produce the highest quality shows and educational programs that amplify and showcase performers’ and students’ individual point of view. The Groundlings organization seeks to build a diverse community of unique comedic actors, writers, improvisers, teachers, and students who perform material with an emphasis on characters.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Groundlings Theatre and School is committed to creating and protecting an anti-racist environment that focuses on diversity, equity, access, and inclusion at every level of the organization.
We value a collaborative environment that diligently promotes mutual respect and compassion among company members, teachers, employees, students, and patrons. It is vital that members of our community feel that their voices are welcomed and celebrated.
We value clearly designated lines of internal and external communication between company members, directors, staff, teachers, and students where all parties feel heard and respected. We will work hard to create brave spaces to uplift and support communication.
As a 501(c)3 institution, we seek to invest in our organization and community in ways that will ensure the stability and solvency of The Groundlings Theatre and School for future generations.
The Groundlings Theatre and School's annual Diversity Festival was held from November 13-15, 2020, and took place entirely online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Groundlings expanded their previous one-day event to a three-day weekend extravaganza with full days of sketch and improv classes, panels and shows.
Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships
Groundlings Diversity Scholarship:
The Groundlings organization has invested over $190,000 to fund scholarships since the inception of the program to support Groundlings students of diverse backgrounds. Scholarships from this fund are awarded to all levels of students.
SNL Scholarship: *NEW!*
The Groundlings also announced a partnership with “Saturday Night Live” and the creation of the “SNL Scholarship” to initiate significant steps toward progressive recruitment of diverse applicants. SNL Scholarships are open to any student in the Core Track.
Gary Austin Scholarship:
This Alumni-funded scholarship was created in honor and memory of The Groundlings founder, Gary Austin. Scholarships from this fund are awarded to students who have accepted an offer for Advanced Lab.