JUNE 1ST, 2020 MESSAGE TO OUR COMMUNITY

The Performing Arts Project proudly stands alongside all of our black students and faculty. We are one community. In our unyielding devotion to provide open-hearted educational training, we honor the value of diversity and empathy. Where there is bias – and oppressive systems which institutionalize it – we must attempt to recognize any reverberation within ourselves. That is a challenge we seek to stare down, and is among the artist’s bravest and most sacred tasks.

This is an ever-evolving pursuit of clarity, through which we hope to find more certain footing as an organization always receptive to learning. In doing so, we dedicate ourselves to:
  • questioning the patterns of our inheritance - striving to actively confront bigotry, racism, silencing, and violence
  • using our not-for-profit’s philanthropic arm (the Great Big Give Back) to redouble our concentration on aiding black communities
  • more acutely listening to and gaining insight from the black voices in every room understanding that the pioneering perspective of our students is a well of inspiration, and wisdom often flows upward
  • leveraging white privilege against racial inequity
Amid our nation’s heartbreak, with humility, we will continue to rigorously work toward true equality and inclusivity, without cease.

BIPOC SCHOLARSHIP FUND

We have created this fund specifically to increase scholarships for BIPOC students to attend our programming. Donors will be able to specify that their contributions be invested exclusively in this fund.

TPAP BIPOC SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISING

August 22nd, 2020 - All profits from our Choose-a-palooza day of classes.

HOW TO DONATE TO THE BIPOC SCHOLARSHIP FUND

To donate to our BIPOC Scholarship Fund, click here and make sure to include “BIPOC Scholarship Fund” in the comment box.


 

UPDATES

The Performing Arts Project now has a Community Agreement in place for all administration, faculty, interns, staff, and students. This agreement establishes best practices for the prevention/repairing of any potential harm. You can view that agreement here:

Performing Arts Project Community Agreement


Also in place is an ANONYMOUS feedback form for any administrator, faculty member, intern, staff, or student who experiences harm and is not comfortable coming forward to the TPAP administration. You can view or fill out this form here:

Performing Arts Project Feedback Form


 

ACTION CALENDAR

June, 2020

In addition to internal anti-racism meetings throughout each week with members of the full-time administration team (Jonathan Bernstein, Juliet Gray, and Kim Slade), other meetings and actions are noted below.

June 1st - Released the “Message to Our Community” about striving to actively confront bigotry, racism, silencing, and violence. (See the top of this page for the full message.)

June 5th - Members of the TPAP faculty voluntarily created a working group to start brainstorming changes we could make on both institutional and pedagogical levels, plus reflect on ways we've failed in the past. This “Working Group” started with white faculty members (Ian Axness, Em Goldman, Lynzy Lab, Troy Ogilvie, and Ellen Winter) who wanted to take on some of the initial labor without making that ask of faculty members of color.

June 18th - Members of the Working Group met with Artistic Director Jonathan Bernstein to continue brainstorming institutional and pedagogical changes.

June 25th - The TPAP admin team - Jonathan Bernstein, Juliet Gray and Kim Slade - met and joined forces with the Working Group in order to brainstorm and then implement profoundly positive institutional change.

July, 2020

In addition to internal anti-racism meetings throughout each week with members of the full-time administration team (Jonathan Bernstein, Juliet Gray, and Kim Slade), during our summer sessions, working together with our faculty and interns, we created a space to discuss issues with our students in multiple ways:

  • We hosted a discussion for Blueprint students led by BIPOC faculty member LaQuet Sharnell Pringle and intern Julia Schick about anti-racism in the theater and society.
  • We held a viewing night and discussion of the documentary 13th as part of our Blueprint evening programming led by our team of interns.
  • Our interns created a comprehensive list of resources for Black Lives Matter and anti-racist support that was distributed to all Panorama students in order to foster discussion/action.
  • Multiple pieces were created, led by BIPOC faculty members, through the Panorama R&D process to address issues of racism through art.

Other meetings and actions are noted below.

July 6th - TPAP admin/intern/faculty/staff anti-racism session co-facilitated by outside educators Faith Jones Jackson and Amy Elaine Smith.

July 7th - Sent TPAP anti-racism session follow-up survey.

July 12th - TPAP admin/intern/faculty/staff anti-racism session facilitated by Alejandro Rodriguez, TPAP faculty member and founding Artistic Director of ASTEP’s Artist as Citizen Conference.

July 12th - Compass and Panorama intensives began with the new Community Agreement instituted for all admin, interns, faculty, staff, and students. To read this agreement, scroll up for the link.

July 31st - Announcement of the TPAP Book Club. In August, we will be reading Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown.

August, 2020

In addition to internal anti-racism meetings throughout each week with members of the full-time administration team (Jonathan Bernstein, Juliet Gray, and Kim Slade), other meetings and actions are noted below.

August 4th - Update sent to the TPAP community including the announcement of a September 13th Town Hall as well as some of the things we had been implementing in our organization to be more inclusive, face and fight systemic racism, and address disparities between intent and impact.

August 10th - Letter received from members of the TPAP community regarding inclusion, challenging us to look at TPAP policy and behavior.

August 12th - Response to TPAP alumni addressing the letter received and moving up the previously scheduled Town Hall from September 13th to August 16th.

August 13th - TPAP Working Group meeting in order to continue to brainstorm and then implement profoundly positive institutional change specifically through our month-long September service initiative.

August 16th - Town Hall with members of the TPAP community including administration, alumni, interns, faculty, and staff. The dual purpose of this event was to take another step in our dismantling work, while continuing to cultivate more tools to build innovative programming that is safe, inclusive, full-hearted, distinct, restless, and authentic.

August 22nd - Choose-a-palooza Pop-up-a-palooza with Jonathan Bernstein, Gavin Creel, Lynzy Lab, Traci Lee, and Deidre Goodwin. All profits from this unique day of classes benefited our BIPOC Scholarship Fund.

August 24th - The first announcement of our 10-year-long philanthropic arm expanding from working with local nonprofits during our summer intensives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to members of our community all over the country working with nonprofits for the entire month of September. We are doing this in order to redouble our concentration on aiding black communities. This philanthropic arm was previously a week-long initiative during our three-week summer intensive called “Day of Service” and then the “Great Big Give Back (GBGB).” We are currently gathering suggestions for a new name from members of our community.

August 30th - Book Club meeting discussing Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown.

August 31st - TPAP Working Group meeting in order to continue to brainstorm and then implement profoundly positive institutional change specifically through our month-long September service initiative.

September, 2020

In addition to internal anti-racism meetings throughout each week with members of the full-time administration team (Jonathan Bernstein, Juliet Gray, and Kim Slade), other meetings and actions are noted below.

September 1st – Launch of our month-long service-based “Sound On” Campaign, using the hashtag #soundonfor led by Juliet Gray and TPAP alums Ali Gutierrez and Mia Pak. About the campaign: During September, we are using our platform and network to amplify voices, spread the word, educate, uplift, and take action. We are doing this by partnering with members of our community to work on a variety of projects, each one supporting a specific cause or organization. As you’ll see in the document entitled “Sound On: Project List,” these projects vary in the causes they benefit, the creation process, and time commitment.

Through these collaborations, we have three goals:

  1. To provide members of the TPAP community with space and encouragement to start new projects that benefit causes, communities, and issues they care about.
  2. To use our community to spread collaborations in action and outreach.
  3. To highlight and amplify the outreach and activist work that our community members are already doing.

September 1st through 30th -  TAKE9MINUTES with Ali Gutierrez and Alyssa Burns. TPAP Alums Ali Gutierrez and Alyssa Burns of @letsfindthehappy are challenging their followers, our community, and YOU to #take9minutes everyday to be a better ally and activist. Every day on their instagram story they will be posting a call to action which includes, education, outreach, petition signing, and more benefiting the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities as well as movements in environmentalism and voting. This is a quick way to do work of non-performative allyship while creating mass impact in causes that need it.

September 3rd - When We All Vote Registered and Ready Rally with Juliet Gray. When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.

September 7th through October 11th - Coaching For a Cause with Gianna Branca. In order to make musical theater training accessible for all, Gianna, along with a few other young artists, will be providing private coaching during this time for young students without cost. Applicable students are high schoolers hoping to pursue Musical Theatre or Acting in college. Every student will have the opportunity to sign up for 60 minutes of private coaching in Acting, Voice, or Dance. That time can be split in two different ways: to have one 60-minute session all at once or to have two 30-minute sessions on different days. Once students sign up, they will then choose their preference for coaching: Monologue Work and Acting Technique, Acting through Song and Vocal Technique, or Dance Technique and Expression. Additionally, if a student would rather spend their time talking through all aspects of the college audition, essay prep, prescreens, etc. with a coach, that is also an available option.

September 8th - Donation-Based Pilates Class with Caroline Chisolm of Caroline Paige Pilates to Benefit the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. All donations from this class will go to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, which builds the capacity of directly impacted advocates, artists, students, organizations, and communities to use the arts as an integral part of their social change work.

September 11th - In Voting We Trust with Danny Ritz & Simón Gómez Villegas. Come join a weekly round-table discussion and creative workshop where we explore the personal and collective impact and connections of voting, misinformation, and the two party system in the 2020 election and beyond.

September 13th - Vote Forward Letter Writing Session with Troy Ogilvie. Vote Forward's mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. We build tools to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.

September 15th - Showing Up For Racial Justice: How You Can Get Involved with Dani Weiner. Join Dani for an information session on how you can get involved with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.

September 17th - Donation-Based Class: GarageBand Creation Lab with Madeline Smith to Benefit Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Come build your first (or next) GarageBand masterpiece! This program’s vast library of software instruments, drum loops, and vocal production features makes it a great candidate for your next quarantine hobby. No knowledge of the software or music theory necessary. Suggested donation of $15 — 100% of proceeds go to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, which builds the capacity of directly impacted advocates, artists, students, organizations, and communities to use the arts as an integral part of their social change work.

September 18th - In Voting We Trust with Danny Ritz & Simón Gómez Villegas. Come join a weekly round-table discussion and creative workshop where we explore the personal and collective impact and connections of voting, misinformation, and the two party system in the 2020 election and beyond.

September 23rd - Power to the People Hour (and a Half) with Ellen Winter. Do you have an abundance of information about how to be active in your community but feel like you're lacking an abundance of time to be active? Do you feel anxiety when calling local legislators? Did you fall down another news wormhole of helplessness? Have no fear - the "power to the people hour (and a half)" is here! I ask that participants come to this with current information about one cause (if we have overlapping info that's okay!). We'll take the first half hour to check-in and build a collaborative google doc about relevant, current, resources for activism that day, and then use the rest of our time to: make calls, sign petitions, donate, write letters, send emails, share campaigns - whatever you are moved and able to do. Boundaries and taking action are both important for our mental health, so let's give ourselves some concentrated time to share resources and do one thing really really really well.

September 23rd - Information Session on Racket with Jonathan Bernstein and Margo Seibert. Join us for an info session on the nonprofit Racket with Jonathan and Margo. Margo is the co-founder of the organization, the goal of which is to make as much noise about periods as it takes to normalize the conversation and draw attention to under-prioritized menstrual hygiene needs. Since Racket’s inception, Margo has collected hundreds of thousands of menstrual hygiene products for transient menstruators in need, and helped eliminate the tax on those products in NY State. Find out how she did all of that on September 23rd.

September 25th - In Voting We Trust with Danny Ritz & Simón Gómez Villegas. Come join a weekly round-table discussion and creative workshop where we explore the personal and collective impact and connections of voting, misinformation, and the two party system in the 2020 election and beyond.

September 26th A Night of The Next Generation with Yasmyn Sumiyoshi. Proceeds from this cabaret go directly towards The Next Generation Project, a nonprofit organization which provides monetary relief to black trans folks. Yasmyn Sumiyoshi has gathered videos of performances from TPAP alumni to be streamed at this event. The cabaret performance will be hosted by Yasmyn and between acts, she will speak and kindly ask for donations!

September 26th - Trans Creatives Collective (TCC) Information Session with Nile Michelle. TCC is an organization created by and for non-cis artists in order to provide a space where the creators in our network can feel safe and supported in their artistic efforts, while also providing a system that makes it easier for non-cis artists to find each other, so that we no longer have to be the only one like us in the room.

October, 2020

In addition to internal anti-racism meetings throughout each week with members of the full-time administration team (Jonathan Bernstein, Juliet Gray, and Kim Slade), other meetings and actions are noted below.

October 1st-11th - Coaching For a Cause with Gianna Branca. In order to make musical theater training accessible for all, Gianna, along with a few other young artists, will be providing private coaching during this time for young students without cost. Applicable students are high schoolers hoping to pursue Musical Theatre or Acting in college. Every student will have the opportunity to sign up for 60 minutes of private coaching in Acting, Voice, or Dance. That time can be split in two different ways: to have one 60-minute session all at once or to have two 30-minute sessions on different days. Once students sign up, they will then choose their preference for coaching: Monologue Work and Acting Technique, Acting through Song and Vocal Technique, or Dance Technique and Expression. Additionally, if a student would rather spend their time talking through all aspects of the college audition, essay prep, prescreens, etc. with a coach, that is also an available option.

October 4th - Choose-a-palooza Pop-up-a-palooza with Jonathan Bernstein, Nick Blaemire, Madeline Smith, and Ato Blankson-Wood. All profits from this unique day of classes benefited our BIPOC Scholarship Fund.

October 5th - Pandrogeny II: An Instagram Art Auction by Christian Regan & Friends with proceeds going to For the Gworls. Christian will post an art piece a day. Viewers can bid in the comments, through the story, or through DMs. The highest bidder will receive the piece by mail. All funds will go towards For the Gworls, a group that provides funds towards rent and gender-affirming surgeries of black trans folx. For more information on For the Gworls, check out their instagram @forthegworls.

October 22nd - TPAP Working Group meeting in order to continue to brainstorm and then implement profoundly positive institutional change.