As I stated in the last post ... the code of ethics for Chicago Storefront Theatre was thrown out into the brainstorming session at the recent Summit meeting and needs a lot more development and thought from the group of experts and participants who were at the meeting and those who are looking to get involved.
First off, I run a nonprofit business. I create art but I run a business. That's just that. There's no running away from it. If you accept donations that are tax deductible, if you have registered with the state, if you are on the radar, you should have standards and you should have ethics. Bottom line. I hate the term "bottom line", but, hell, I'm talking in business speak. Why? I founded a business. Our audiences are our consumers and those who want to work with us are our employees. A Code of Ethics is a way of gaining trust from our workers and our audience. I'm sure you all run a trustworthy business, but what's the harm in having a list of words to agree to confirming and holding us to that fact?
I agree that having the code won't stop people from doing whatever the hell they want to do and it might be "lip service", but, again ... what's the harm? If we break off into committees and one of those committees is in charge of coming up with an initial draft ... what's the harm? Seriously ... I'd like to know. If you don't want to sign it or get behind it, that's your right. But, if a group of theatres do, that's their right, too. Again, most businesses follow one and let their people know about it.
So ... we can create one. Or not. I, honestly, am fine if the Summit group wants to move forward with other ideas. But, if people are interested in developing one, I'll be on board with it and will help to spread the word about it. I would, however, like to know ... if you're cringing about the idea, what are you really, deep down, cringing about? If we break off into committees and one of the committees works on this and another works on resource sharing and another works on real estate, etc, what's the harm? We can't all be stirring the same pot or else we won't accomplish anything.
Here's some Reading Material I found on the nets that I found both informative and entertaining:
How to Write a Code of Ethics for your business or group
Why have a Code of Ethics?
A Person Who Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth
U/RTA's Code of Ethics (Example of a group of universities and regional theatre's putting a standard list together that all participating members can agree to abide by.)
And, for fun ...
A Blogger's Code of Ethics
Good day to you all.