A.R.T./New York is joining the music industry, our sister theatre service organizations including Theatre Communications Group, Theatre Bay Area, and our member theatres, in support of #BlackOutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused. We will be pausing our operations, and I am urging my staff to take this time to heal, reflect, and think about how we can envision A.R.T./New York's own work to fight racism and ensure that New York City's nonprofit theatre community is more just, inclusive, diverse, and accessible to all.

As I promised in my May 31st letter to you, thanks to Robert Raben and our Diversifying Our Organizations (DOO) team at the Raben Group, I have reached out to Black clinicians who have experience as therapists, researchers, and community healers. I have sought their advice and support as we seek to facilitate spaces for A.R.T./New York's staff and, hopefully, our members, where we can unpack trauma and move towards healing. This is complex work and it may take some time to organize, but I am committed to doing this for my staff and for our field.

In the meantime, and at the recommendation of our sister organization the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), I encourage everyone to visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. They just launched Talking About Race, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy to the workplace. It begins, “Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. We are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.” 

Indeed, we have a long road ahead of us as we learn how to live by our stated commitments to #BlackLivesMatter and fighting anti-blackness, racism, and oppression.

Even in these dark times, your artistry and commitment to your communities and New York City give me strength and comfort. Together, we can make a difference.


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