Creating change within a country, a city, an industry takes more than words. Black lives matter and Artists at Play must take part in the rebuilding of a just, equitable, and inclusive society. But how does AAP fit in with all of this? What can we do? How do we hold ourselves and our community accountable?
Artists at Play stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement along with those in our own city of Los Angeles and across the country seeking justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black lives that have been unjustly taken. Building upon our original objectives of highlighting Asian American voices and combating lack of representation, we commit to taking a stronger stance of anti-racism in the work that we do and in our daily lives. We know we can do more and we can do better with regard to further diversifying our collective of performers, designers, and collaborators. We know that within our Asian American community, we also have to confront issues of anti-Black racism, the Model Minority Myth, decolonizing our practices and unlearn so much of what white supremacy has embedded in us.
As an Asian American organization, we want to mindfully seek out ways we can support Black artists, leaders, and voices, and help make an impact. Knowing that we need to go beyond just saying the words “Black Lives Matter,” we will continue to use art as our tool for activism, be mindful of keeping our work intersectional, and provide learning opportunities for our community.
Below we share a few resources, keeping in mind the intersectionality of our audience—both of the Asian American and theatre communities:
- National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Talking About Race” – an online portal helping families, individuals, and communities talk about race and commit to anti-racism; with digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles and more than 100 multi-media resources
- The Conscious Kid – geared toward kids and families; an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth
- Token Theatre Friends – a weekly podcast, plus original essays and reported articles, all through a POC lens. Diep Tran and Jose Solís, theatre critics and writers, want to reimagine how we talk about art with the belief that it is more than entertainment.
Please check back with us and share any questions or thoughts or suggestions you may have. We know we don’t have all the answers but remain committed to collectively working toward a more equitable industry, city, and country.
Yours in solidarity,
Artists at Play
Julia Cho, Katherine Chou, Stefanie Lau, Nicholas Pilapil, Marie-Reine Velez