New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theater Asks Patrons About Diversity and Equity
New Bedford's Zeiterion Performing Arts Center wants your views on diversity and equity. The Z, with the help of the consulting firm WolfBrown, is conducting an anonymous survey of folks in the area. I received one via email on Monday morning.
WolfBrown's website says it "helps funders, non-profit institutions, and public agencies understand their potential, set priorities, and fulfill their promise." The consultant has offices in Cambridge, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Oakland.
The survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, asks respondents about the frequency of their visits to the Zeiterion, their knowledge level of the theater, and "how strong a bond or feeling of connection" they have with the Z.
The survey then states, "The Z strives to serve the diverse New Bedford and SouthCoast community and to use the arts to build a more equitable society. The organization considers diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the selection of programs, facility improvements, hiring practices, and other means."
It then asks respondents to rate the importance of objectives.
The survey asks if respondents "think the audience members have a role to play in a performing arts organization's commitment to inclusivity and anti-racial policies." It then seeks information about the respondent's gender, sexuality, and ethnic background.
We discussed the survey on my program on Monday. The sentiment was nearly unanimous in its support of the Zeiterion and what the theater offers for entertainment choices. Most expressed a desire for more performances.
Not one caller understood the need for such a survey or the concerns about greater diversity and equity. Several callers hinted that all of this might be politically motivated.
What is your take on the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center? Do you frequent the theater? Are you satisfied with what the Z has to offer for performances? Is there a need for greater diversity and equity at the Z?