The City of Rochester and taxpayer money is already involved, currently enabling this dysfunctional board by subsidizing their lease and handing them $200K a year. This theatre and the quality of its productions have made it a jewel in the region, and the city cannot continue to financially support cancelling shows and a dark theatre.
The Friends of RCT, a broad group of theatre supporters, professionals, and volunteers, has the following goals with regard to the current situation:
- Resignation of Heather Holmes [done], Kay Hocker, and Ari Kolas, for failing in their fiduciary obligations to the theatre.
- Set a meeting between board and Friends of RCT representatives to create a mutually agreeable action plan, so the community may regain faith in leadership and can return to RCT.
- An apology to those who sent letters to the board outlining former executive director’s unethical conduct, including allegations of sexual harassment. And a statement that such actions are never appropriate at the RCT [statement published][Letters sent and received, November 2017][Harassment policy revised, January 2018].
- Install a temporary advisory council to the board, consisting of past RCT board presidents/officers.
- Immediately begin the search for a replacement ED with mutually agreeable search committee members. Appoint an interim ED [interim ED appointed]. Both must be mission-oriented and experienced in theatre [iED does not have theatre experience][Search is in progress – no communication with Friends regarding the search committee makeup].
- Reverse failed leadership decisions
- Immediately reinstate membership with voting rights and hold a member meeting to elect directors, including people with experience in theatre.
- Re-evaluate the change from Artistic Director to contracting Guest Directors.
- Re-evaluate changes to bylaws.
- Make board contact information and governance documents such as bylaws, minutes, etc. accessible to the public via the website [bylaws are available via City of Rochester which now requires they be filed with the city for supported organizations].