As you know, we postponed our annual gala scheduled for last Monday, June 1. The short statement we put out that day was a reaction to the timing of our event and not the full response the Black Lives Matter movement deserves. We are grateful for our Black team members who held us accountable for that reaction and acknowledge them as driving needed change in the organization.
The most important thing we can tell you is that we are focusing first on supporting our Black colleagues. That begins with radical listening and engaging in challenging conversations. Our next steps will address re-thinking and dismantling white-centered practices that have been embedded in nonprofit structures, including ours, for decades, and have caused harm and pain.
Our nation’s arts and culture sector would be nothing without the artistry, labor and skill of Black artists, administrators, educators and workers in all areas of our field. At New 42, our beloved staff and audiences include thousands of Black New Yorkers who create, support and celebrate the performing arts. We honor you today and every day.
We have only begun our journey to confront institutional and structural racism. As an organization devoted to making extraordinary performing arts a vital part of everyone’s lives from the earliest years onward, we specifically acknowledge our responsibility to give young Black people the opportunity to see themselves and their experiences reflected on stage and to feel a sense of true belonging in our theaters. We take this crucial responsibility very seriously. Our past efforts, though well meaning, have not been enough.
Here are some resources shared by our staff that are helping to inform the current steps in our journey. Our organization promotes growth and change, and we are grateful to our colleagues who push for accountability in order for that same change to happen from within. We offer these resources to you and hope you will also spend time with them.
We are grateful for your support of us, now and always.