Official Statement from American Conservatory Theater

Feb 19, 2019

“We are deeply saddened by the legal complaint we received from Mr. Buescher this morning. As a former valued member of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) faculty, Mr. Buescher significantly contributed to the success of the institution, so much so that we made multiple efforts to retain him.

In early 2018, Mr. Buescher raised issues that were inconsistent with our values. The Board of Trustees, along with our newly-appointed Artistic Director and Executive Director, have taken these concerns very seriously
and put efforts in place to ensure that A.C.T. remains fiercely committed to upholding our values for our employees, students, audiences, and artists.

Recent efforts focus on programming, workplace health, hiring, reporting structure, and system practices which include, but are not limited to:

  • Hired Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) consultant to review the organizational culture, policies and procedures at A.C.T.
  • We have clarified and simplified reporting paths for anyone affiliated with the theater to report concerns or complaints and launched an anonymous reporting method for employees, students and artists.
  • Hired Amanda Williams as the new Human Resources Director in July 2018. Amanda formerly most recently has been the Director of Culture and Inclusion at American Public Media Group.
  • The Board of Trustees formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee in February 2018 led by Joaquin Torres as a sub-committee of the Board’s existing Organizational Health Committee led by Jeff Minick.
  • Programming, commissioning and developing continues to reflect and represent the diversity in the Bay Area community and beyond.
  • Rewritten job postings to remove barriers from entry and be more inclusive and diverse in new hires.
  • Began cultural competency training with staff.


We still have much work to do as a community, and we will continue to reflect, ask questions, make thoughtful plans and take action to ensure A.C.T. is a welcoming place for all. We are confident that our ongoing commitment and efforts will result in positive changes to the organizational health of A.C.T. and the national stage.”


– David Riemer, Chair, Board of Trustees
– Kay Yun, President, Board of Trustees

Media Contact


Kevin Kopjak, Charles Zukow Associates
415.296.0677 | kevink@charleszukow.com

 

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