A demand for change is being heard within our many and diverse communities throughout this land.
Indigenous, Black, and people of colour, along with allies, demand and deserve a dismantling of the racist systems of power that have kept BIPOC artists from positions of leadership, and from contributing equitably to the richness of our communities.
We have been watching the news and the calls for change through #BlackLivesMatter and directly from our community of artists. Theatres and arts organizations are not exempt from institutional racism. We recognize this racism exists.
Theatre Projects Manitoba acknowledges that the majority of our company is white and carries the privilege this gives us as individuals and as an organization. We are in the process of grappling with our own issues of institutional racism, social justice and equity. We are humbled in this process and humbly ask for patience as we break down our system so that we can successfully change. This work will take time –it will be a priority in our upcoming strategic plan and cycle of artistic activities. It must be an ongoing continual process. It will involve all of our organization and must be done with the care and integrity it deserves.
To help us achieve this goal we will begin by forming a community working group to ensure a myriad of voices in these conversations to help us change. We wish to be purposeful and intentional in our job of listening and learning and growing as individuals and as a company. We will be inviting the voices into this conversation who have been missing. The staff and Board are currently reaching out to find a facilitator to lead us all in these discussions. We anticipate naming that facilitator in the coming weeks and to then announce opportunities for greater community engagement and concrete actions in the weeks and months to follow.
We need your voices. You are our voices. We undertake to share our plan and our planning with any of you who want to be part of this process as it unfolds.
Our hope is for inclusion and equity in our practices, resulting in a more just and compassionate community. Theatre Projects Manitoba acknowledges that we work on Treaty One Territory and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. It is on this land that we strive to listen, learn and create in solidarity with our BIPOC artists, friends, colleagues and allies.
Ardith Boxall, Rea Kavanagh, Andraea Sartison, Emily Solstice Tait, staff
Bill Kerr, Justin Deeley, Carolyn Lussier, Ray Singer, Kyle Mason, Anne Bolton, Chris Werstiuk, Clay Purves, board of directors