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To Our Community of Friends, Artists and Patrons:
Taproot Theatre believes that Black Lives Matter.
Like you, we mourn the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and too many other Black Americans. Each of these lives is precious and each of these murders are shameful examples of the systemic and institutional racism deeply rooted in our country.
We know that to be silent is to be complicit. Therefore, both as artists and as people of faith, Taproot Theatre stands in solidarity to condemn violence against Black Americans and to state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.
As a theatre organization led predominantly by white people, we confess our own white privilege and recognize that we participate in the unjust and harmful systems at work in our country.
We commit to listen to the voices of Black people and people of color.
We commit to see the pain caused by racism and white supremacy and to not look away.
We commit to ongoing learning and ongoing action.
We commit to the ongoing process of changing our own organizational systems and structures.
The value of any public statement is to call on our community to hold us accountable. As white leaders, we know that words are useless unless they are accompanied by action. However, the actions of well-intentioned white people can be harmful if they have not first paused to educate themselves.
Therefore, we (Scott and Karen) are publicly committing to a month of learning and listening. Out of the many resources currently being published, we have chosen the Justice in June guide prepared by Twitter activists Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace. This is a resource specifically designed to change “a moment into a movement.” By mid-July we will report to you what we have learned and how we will apply this to our work at Taproot Theatre. Perhaps you will choose to join us in our Justice in June journey, or perhaps you’ll choose a different path and resources. Regardless, we encourage you to email and tell us if you’ve learned something as well.
We encourage you to visit Taproot Theatre’s website that includes this pledge and a list of resources to offer guidance to us all. We hope to add more resources and will be thrilled to add suggestions from you; our community of friends, artists and patrons.
Since 1976 Taproot Theatre Company has existed to serve audiences with “Stories of Hope.” This story, however, is a story of hope that comes through struggle. We know that the hope of racial justice will only come as a result of a struggle against the sin of white supremacy. Taproot Theatre will not be afraid to struggle. We are not afraid to hope. We commit to listen, to learn and to act.
And we are honored to do this together with you, our Taproot family.
With gratitude and in solidarity,
CoFounder/Producing Artistic Director, 1976-2020
2021 Incoming Producing Artistic Director