What We're Reading
State of the Art(s)
If Becca Graves could press through the less pleasant parts of her junior year schedule at her small-town Massachusetts high school – the peers whose personalities perturbed her, the classes she didn’t care for – she could make it to Ms. E’s art class.
The memorial to George Floyd in Minneapolis is constantly changing. In the days following Floyd’s murder by the police, street art, flowers, handwritten notes, and more appeared outside the now-infamous Cup Foods. Todd Lawrence, a professor at the University of St. Thomas, told me that since then, “It has become a living space,” as new artistic additions have been incorporated.
“The thing that’s right is to get the theater industry’s collective knee off of the throats and off of the bodies of Black, indigenous and POC people. And it can’t be through these diversity initiatives. Diversity is not equal to anti-racist.” That’s Nicole Brewer, the freelance theatermaker and anti-racist educator who’s spent years focusing on anti-racism in the theater.
Released this summer, We See You is a campaign by artists of color calling out structural racism in the theatre industry and demanding change. A number of theatres, including Woolly Mammoth and Baltimore Center Stage, have responded with institutional changes.
With white women as the primary demographic of the nonprofit workforce, this episode begins addressing white women in their role as gatekeepers. In this episode, Fleur Larsen, a DEI consultant and a white woman, talks with Michelle to answer questions like: Why are there so many white DEI consultants making money off of racism? What does gatekeeping look like? How do you know you are gatekeeping and what should you do when you are called out? How do you call out a gatekeeper?
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.