Black Lives Matter

The Illinois Theatre Association would like to be clear and unequivocal in stating that Black Lives Matter.  We mourn the losses of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and the countless other Black lives that were unjustly taken too soon.  The Illinois Theatre Association stands in solidarity with the millions of voices raised all over our country demanding justice, equality, and an end to racialized violence and police brutality. 


We recognize that we have been slow in articulating this position, and we regret any additional hurt that our delayed response has caused.


We wish to acknowledge the pain and suffering that so many of the Black artists, educators, students, and community members are experiencing.  We hear you. We believe in you. We mourn with you. We stand with you.


Though COVID-19 leaves our theatres currently dark, we do not stand silently.  We are an organization that is committed to lifting up the artistic voices statewide at all levels of theatre and now, more than ever, we believe that theatre is a place that must be safe for Black voices and for people of color.  Theatres must be a platform for their stories to be heard and uplifted.


We recognize the ways in which white theatre makers are privileged and have benefitted from an unjust system.


We are committed to holding space and time for the theatre community to reflect and dialogue on ways to fight for justice.


We are committed to examining our own actions as an organization that may have contributed to systemic racism and injustice. 


We are committed to taking concrete steps to further anti-racist work in theatre and theatre-in-education. 


We are committed to implementing these actions in ways that we hope will be meaningful and long lasting.


We will continue to identify specific areas of growth and take steps to put meaning behind the statement Black Lives Matter.  Details of our specific commitments will be shared separately on our website in the coming weeks.  For the time being, we invite you to share any ideas or suggestions by clicking here.


Please also see below for advocacy information and links to anti-racist education resources. 


In solidarity,

The Illinois Theatre Association Board of Directors


ANTI-RACIST EDUCATION RESOURCES


Educate Yourself
View this video - from Arts Alliance Illinois

“Arts and Culture as Part of the Solution - Introduction to Systemic Racism” (For organizations and artists across Illinois that don’t work in communities of color, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the current calls for racial equity and justice, or to not know where to begin your path into anti-racism work. Artists and creatives have always been part of protests and people-powered social justice movements. Join this webinar to learn about how systemic racism led to the current protests, why it is so important for all creatives to get engaged, and how you can do just that! Special Guests: Nina Sanchez, Enrich Chicago, Derrick C. Dawson, Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism).

Read:

Advocate, Advocate, Advocate!
Contact your legislators, mayor, and city council members. Our elected officials work for us and should know your views on policing and the current protests .

Click here to find your legislators.

Click here to find information on voting.


Donate:
Donate to an organization committed to dismantling systemic racism and helping communities heal and rebuild after the past weekend’s protests. There are many organizations doing this work, here are just a few: 


Support local bail funds: Support protesters in your city by finding local bail funds. Click here for the National Bail Fund Network via the Community Justice Exchange.


Continue Your Education and Converse with Family and Friends


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