Hi Everyone! As you may have learned, our organization is in a time of change. WTF’s founder has moved on and the company that remains will have to figure out how to evolve without her guiding presence.
What are the necessary changes our organization must undertake? How can we live our mission as fully as possible? Who are we helping...and who have we hurt? While we don’t yet have all of the answers to these questions, I feel that the best path forward is to engage with you, our community, with transparency, honesty, and openness along the way. So–WTF Wednesdays! From now on, every Wednesday you can expect a blog post from me with a candid inside look at what’s going on at WTF HQ. I’m also excited about some other WTF Wednesdays content and community events that we’ll be rolling out down the road!
Here’s what I’m working on this week:
After a fruitful board retreat this past weekend, there are a lot of ideas on the table to sort through. There’s also a mandate to increase our fundraising if we want to do the things we’ve set out to do this year. Along with WTF’s Board of Directors, I’ve got to figure out what we most want to do and how we will pay for it. Because we prioritized paying artist stipends before we were really, really established enough to do this, we’ve run into a problem that lots of companies face: not enough cash on hand to do all of the things. So now, we’ve got to find a new way to make the pieces fit together. I am painfully aware that everyone should get paid for their work. In the spirit of transparency, I receive an annual salary of $5000 for the work I do for WTF. That works out to $416.67 a month. If I work 40 hours a week (and most weeks I give more), that’s $2.60 an hour. One of my first priorities is figuring out how the organization can work towards paying me a living wage for doing my full-time work. My hope is by injecting new life in our Patreon program, we can increase our monthly contributions which can be added to my salary.
This is one way to really live our mission. It’s simply not equitable if you have to be independently wealthy or work a second full-time job in order to run a non-profit theatre company. From there, I’m not sure what the answer is yet: Do we temporarily stop offering stipends? Do we offer shares to artists? Do we only produce work when we can afford to pay every artist, technician, and administrator a living wage….and how would we grow enough to do that if we stop producing work? Do we stop producing entirely and focus on other ways to increase parity in theatre?
Like I said, we’e got big questions and not many answers...yet.That’s one reason I’m turning to you. What do you think WTF should prioritize? Do you have ideas or ways you want to join the conversation? Reach out! In addition to reaching me via email or social media, I’ve set up a system to schedule a call with anyone who wants a 15 minute phone meeting with me. Whether you want to talk about these big ideas or hash out anything else that’s on your mind, I want to hear from you. I want to hear how WTF can better serve you as a platform, resource, ally, partner. You can schedule your call with me here!
Yours in parity,