From the Board Room

a blog series sharing insights from On Site Opera’s Board of Directors
Jane Gross, Board President

“Creating A Work Culture That Supports Everyone”

by Jane Gross, Board President

One of the important takeaways from this year’s Opera Conference was the importance of implementing a Policy and Procedures document outlining how OSO will fulfill our responsibility to create a safe, respectful workplace for our artists.

Opera has some unique challenges such as artists in various stages of undress during costume fittings; violence and romance depicted on stage. Sometimes there are children in the workplace. OSO also works in people’s private homes and businesses for special events. After the Conference, we immediately implemented an interim Code of Conduct sourced from Opera America. We simultaneously convened a task force of board members, lawyers, and opera professionals to research other resources and create a longer-term policy. This will be given to all of our artists as part of their contract, and also shared with anyone who brings our artists into their home or workplace for an event. Though we are a young, and rather small company, these policies and practices are integral to the quality of our work. It is a point of pride for me that more than half the people at my board table are half my age (several with young children) and more than half of them are women. It is by adding our various insights, life experiences, and resources together that we are producing work that we can be proud of at every level, and creating business practices, like this Conduct Policy, that will strengthen our organization as a whole. Opera is one of the great joys in life; we are more than happy to work towards making a joyful creative process for all involved.

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