In alignment with our commitment to creating a more inclusive and welcoming organization, we at CDT would like to share some of the work that we’ve been doing.
Our Mission: The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ (CDT) Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC) serves to increase inclusivity, accessibility and belonging to better welcome, serve and engage all our employees and guests.
Our Vision: The CDT DEIC strives to be a leader for transformation in the performing arts and hospitality ﬁelds, guiding CDT as an employer and producer, creating a model for an anti-racist future that embraces equal access, diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging for all.
1. Create a work culture that is socially responsive and community-focused through our daily practices.
2. Invest in the development of the individuals who work at CDT in order to create a more welcoming and inclusive community.
3. Develop and utilize resources to ensure that the work we put onstage is artistically thoughtful and socially responsible.
4. Serve as a leader and connector within arts and hospitality organizations as they engage with DEI work.
5. Educate the next generation of theater practitioners and enthusiasts with care, purpose and accountability.
6. Cultivate broader diversity among our guests.
– Since July 2021, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council has been meeting weekly to provide initiation, support, feedback and evaluation for all DEI work within CDT.
– After an extensive search and interview process, we have partnered with Strategic Diversity Initiatives (SDI) as a consulting ﬁrm to lead us on all of our DEI work, evaluations, policy reform and education.
– The entire company was given the opportunity to participate in an extensive company-wide Climate Assessment, which provided detailed feedback on CDT’s strengths, challenges and opportunities for growth.
– Based on the results and feedback from our Climate Assessment, we held a two-day retreat to form our DEI Strategic Plan for CDT, which produced a prioritized list of short and long-term goals for the company.
– Our entire staﬀ went through “Beyond Diversity 101,” a mandatory training session geared toward giving all employees a foundational knowledge of DEI work. Additional training sessions are being planned to continue building knowledge and skills among our employee base.
– We have an integrated a multi-faceted feedback system for those in the theatrical side of CDT. This system includes both internal and external resources for all employees working on the productions at CDT.
– We have begun partnering with professional artists in our community to discuss upcoming productions from a place of transparency and authenticity, entering into conversations around how our DEI work will be embodied in the shows that we produce.
– We now begin our rehearsal processes with a DEI learning session from Strategic Diversity Initiatives, integrating new company members into our mission of creating a healthier work culture.
– Our production team now includes an intimacy director, who works with the production personnel on building consent, communication and context into our production, rehearsal and performance practices.
– In October 2022, CDT sponsored and hosted a Community Gathering for a wide range of theater creators, administrators and educators from across the state of Minnesota. The focus of this gathering was to discuss, learn, share and connect about the DEI work that is happening at our various organizations and how we can support each other with a uniﬁed eﬀort.
– CDT has expanded our accessibility to include an accessible gender neutral bathroom in the lobby for use by guests and employees, as well as adjustments in our theater spaces to allow for more accessible performance seating.
– Our DEI Council, along with senior leadership are planning our future budget for DEI work, with the aim of making this work a permanent, sustainable and universal value within the CDT community.