Black Lives Matter
Since the following statement was initially published earlier this year, everyone at Classic Stage Company continues to be angered and saddened by the ongoing murders and violence at the hands of the police against Black Americans. The lack of justice for victims such as Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake underlines the ongoing importance of this statement months later.
Black lives matter. CSC unequivocally condemns the murder of George Floyd and the countless unjust murders of Black Americans that litter the history of this country. CSC stands in solidarity with the Black community, including our audiences, artists, and staff members. We cannot think of a worse time for all theaters in America to be closed. We see the theater as a place where traditions can be challenged, conversations can be pushed forward, minds can be changed, and most importantly, as a place where everyone is accepted. We will continue this work when we are able to reopen and until then, we stand together.
CSC is committed to being an anti-racist organization. CSC recognizes the responsibility we bear to make our theater a place where Black Americans (artists, audiences, colleagues, and beyond) feel supported and at home. Social media posts and statements of solidarity are not enough and we believe the problem of inherent racism in American arts organizations cannot be solved with a simple checklist of promises. Our future actions will demonstrate this commitment to change moving forward and CSC will continue this work in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
Our ongoing virtual Classic Conversations series has featured a number of in-depth talks with Black artists about anti-racism and how the American theatre can move forward to achieve a more equitable future. We particularly highlight our discussions with André De Shields, Heather Headley, Bianca Horn, and Quincy Tyler Bernstine for this content.
Amplifying Advocacy Organizations
While our theater doors are currently closed for in-person events, CSC is still active digitally. Through our social media platforms and our digital Classic Conversations series, CSC is striving to elevate and amplify BIPOC voices and share the work of organizations lead by BIPOC artists and change-makers. We would like to especially recognize the importance of the following advocacy groups and their work towards achieving change in American theater and beyond. Please follow these links for more information.
During the NYC protests following George Floyd’s murder, Classic Stage Company participated in the Open Your Lobby campaign in partnership with Everyman Espresso and Vineyard Theatre to purchase and distribute supplies to Black Lives Matter protesters in the Union Square area. Excess funds will be donated to: Black Lives Matter, Emergency Release Fund, Color of Change, and the National Bail Fund Network.
If you are looking for further information on anti-racism or ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, please see these additional resources:
Black Lives Matter
Black Visions Collective
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Color of Change
Communities for Police Reform
“Do The Work: An Anti-Racist Reading List” (The Guardian)
The Innocence Project
Minnesota Freedom Fund
The Okra Project
Open Your Lobby
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The 1619 Project (The New York Times Magazine)
“Remember, No One is Coming to Save Us” (Roxane Gay, The New York Times)