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. 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 1 – Launch of our month-long service-based “Sound On” Campaign, using the hashtag #soundonfor. 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.