Decision and Statement Regarding the Deletion of the #NADTA2020 Recordings

Dear Community,

This letter is to share with you information about the outcomes of dialogue with members of our community, and among board members, regarding the recordings made from the first NADTA Virtual Conference, held November 5-8, 2020.

We wish to first state that that the conference was a great success, and we are so proud of the Conference Planning Committee's selfless dedication and herculean efforts that went into making it happen. The team essentially planned three different conferences- a fully in-person one, a hybrid one, and a fully virtual one. These efforts cannot be overstated, nor can our gratitude for the opportunity to still gather as a community in a year when so much has been taken from all of us.

As many have likely experienced throughout the course of the last year, planning often felt comparable to building an airplane while flying it! As such, there were many decisions to make and considerations to take. It was often challenging to evaluate situations to their fullest extent, and the “2020” hindsight has been invaluable in evaluating the past, and determining new paths forward.

Many of you may be aware that just prior to and during the conference, members of our community expressed concern about a lack of awareness of and consent to the policy of recording all programming in the 2020 conference. A video and petition were initially circulated on social media during the conference. The NADTA responded with a statement stating that one of the primary intents of video recording sessions was to provide a resource and record to address any concerns that might arise during a session, when the in person monitoring and support normally available at a typical conference would be impossible. We invited further dialogue after the conference.

In the days following the conference, a letter crafted by members of our community was sent to the NADTA Board to further the discussion. The group cited concern about: a lack of informed consent to recording, a lack of clear and consistent communication regarding recording policy and intentions, concerns about risk of harm for participants related to personal identity locators and choices of how to engage in recorded sessions, and possible issues related to clinical confidentiality and intellectual property. They called for all recordings to be deleted, and for a new written policy regarding video recordings be crafted and voted on by the full membership.

The board has spent significant time and energy discussing these concerns and deliberating the most appropriate course forward over the past two and a half months, and we wish to now share the outcome: We have voted to delete the full conference recordings, with two exceptions, outlined below:

  1. Conference Keynote Addresses
  1. Historically, conference Keynote Addresses have been recorded with presenter consent, and then provided as a resource to the Drama Therapy Fund for use for education and as a potential fundraiser, as well as to promote the profession. In addition, the Keynote Address videos are kept and included in the historical record of the NADTA and included within its archives.
  2. In order to preserve this practice as well as the Keynote material, these recordings will be managed in identical fashion to past Keynotes, in accordance with the prior agreements made with the Drama Therapy Fund and keynote speakers.
  1. During Pam Dunne and Renda Dionne Madrigal's workshop: "Creating a Healing Message to Humanity: Ethnodrama & Storytelling with Indigenous Populations", the presenters and the attendees unanimously consented to providing/sharing a short (approximately 2 minute) clip of the workshop as a response to the Indigenous community members who contributed stories for the workshop. This short portion of the recording will be retained and shared with Pam and Renda as planned, as there was unanimous consent from all affected individuals (attendees).

All other recordings made during the proceedings will be deleted.

We as the NADTA Board ask that you understand we do not make this decision lightly. This decision involves the loss of an opportunity to maintain a physical record of the growing body of knowledge of the field of drama therapy, an exciting opportunity made significantly easier through a fully virtual conference. We also recognize it has significant impacts related to accessibility of our conference. Conference attendees may have had the expectation of being able to view additional presentations they weren’t able to attend in real time, view presentations that conflicted with other obligations or time zone differences, or re-watch presentations to engage with the material more deeply. We regret these losses.

However, we want you to know that we value the voices of members in our community who have historically been harmed by systems. When an ethical concern is brought up within our community, we take it seriously, and we feel that while the intentions of the board and the conference planning team were good, our impact made certain members of our community feel unsafe. Our repair begins with swiping the deck clean and starting fresh with a video recording policy that can be freely adapted to meet the concerns of our community. We have drafted a new video recording policy, which we hope will allow for further recordings to be taken with full support of the community. It can be viewed here, and is open for public comment and feedback until February 11, 2021.

If you have concerns about your ability to engage with the 2020 NADTA Virtual Conference to the fullness of your registration fees, please reach out to the office at office@nadta.org, and situations will be reviewed and addressed on a case-by-case basis.

We are grateful to those who have taken an active role in communicating their concerns and ideas for ways forward to the board directly. While the board has been elected to provide leadership to this community in actions and decision-making, we represent and work for the membership, and the NADTA is composed of all of us. Therefore, all of our voices and efforts are crucial in moving this organization forward into the future in a way that allows us to continue to embody our mission and values.

Your board can continue to be reached at our individual email addresses, which can all be found here. Thank you,

The 2019-2021 NADTA Board of Directors

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