Statement of Solidarity
Live Arts stands in solidarity with those who denounce and decry the current and historic use of suppression, violence, and systemic racism to silence the voices of Black and Brown people. We recognize the pain and anger expressed by Black and Brown people in our local communities and across the nation at the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and hundreds of others.
The arts, and specifically community theater, can be a platform for social change and a way to explore the pressing issues of our time.
Live Arts acknowledges that as a predominantly white institution, we have benefited from the systems that reinforce institutional racial inequity.
In the spirit of centering our seasons around works by women and people of color, we commit to taking bold action in response to the challenges before us. We pledge to listen to previously suppressed voices, to create a community of belonging, and to be a more effective ally for all artists who wish to create, dream, inspire, and challenge the status quo.
For starters, we are focusing on programming and education:
- Programming: We are adjusting our summer programming to recognize the pain and anger echoing through the Charlottesville community. We will be showcasing the work of local playwrights of color during our 2020-21 re-imagined online season. We will be continuing to center our mainstage seasons around the work of playwrights of color and women playwrights when we are able to return to live performances.
- Education: We are expanding opportunities to engage teaching artists of color in our youth and adult education programs.
We as an organization are taking time to listen, to learn, and to unlearn. Collectively, we are working on an Equity Strategic Action Plan aimed at meaningful change at all levels of our operation. We will share it with you as soon as it’s ready. If you have any ideas for us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, please consider a direct contribution to one of the following organizations, or another of your choice, that have been doing the hard work of dismantling oppression, in all its forms, for years:
- Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
- Campaign Zero
- Black Lives Matter
- Reclaim The Block