At Side Door we acknowledge that the roots of the entertainment industry were developed within a construct that reinforces white supremacy, misogyny, patriarchal power and systemic racism as unavoidable norms. At Side Door, we aim to create something better for artists and audiences. We aim to create an ecosystem without gatekeepers, and center the needs of the underrepresented to foster a more balanced marketplace where performances happen in safe and equitable spaces.

We envision a future where people from every community feel invited and accepted to create art with Side Door. We want to be a place where any artist can perform and any person can feel inspired to host artists in their spaces. All products and programming created by Side Door - user experience, support interactions, partnerships, communications, web accessibility, etc - are directed by anti-racist and anti-oppressive principles, and includes the perspectives and experiences of under-represented peoples.

We commit, as individuals and as a company, to foster an ecosystem that feels powerfully invitational. It is through embracing the underserved and underrepresented that both art and communities can thrive. We acknowledge that historically, mainstream traditional live performance spaces have been isolating or even oppressive to marginalized groups, trauma survivors, people with differing abilities or substance abuse disorders, etc.

Side Door is a team made up of artists and technologists, white people and people of color, cis and queer people, single and partnered people, people with wide-ranging degrees of families, people with varying abilities and people across multiple timezones and two countries. Our goal is to expand and diversify even more.

Side Door co-founders Laura Simpson and Dan Mangan have implemented Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED) education and practices as company priorities, the principles therein acting as guidelines that influence every corner of the organization. Staff are participating in ongoing anti-racism professional development and have created a strategic plan for EDI cohesion throughout the company. A subcommittee called Justice Working Group made up of Side Door staff meet and share resources regularly for ongoing anti-racist education and discussion. This group works together to create safer spaces for under-represented communities on the Side Door team, on the website, in the shows, and in the live performance industry. Activities include education in anti-oppression, building anti-racist company policies and procedures, and working to strengthen the Side Door community’s capacity to uplift under-represented voices.

Side Door asks that participants and partners promote and maintain a positive and equitable atmosphere, and encourages shows and events to take place in supportive, non-threatening environments. Side Door asks all attendees, performers, hosts, moderators, presenters, staff, and service providers to act with respect for equity and inclusivity. We are currently working toward creating a system of education, accountability, and reporting that can further foster and support safer spaces. We would like to work with users to meet everyone where they’re at and support artists on their creative journey. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss our collective values and responsibilities for equity and inclusion.

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