In the wake of the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and far too many other Black Americans, we stand in unequivocal solidarity with our Black ensemble members, colleagues, and community members.
We see these tragedies as horrific evidence — yet again — of the racism and violence toward Black people that have been ingrained in our society for over 400 years. We are compelled to renew our commitment as humans, as artists, and as an organization to work toward dismantling the systems of white supremacy and racism in which we, too, have been complicit.
We acknowledge and are deeply grateful for the many Black activists, thinkers, and leaders who have been doing this work for many years and have provided resources to guide education and activism.
Idiot String’s mission is to create space for authentic connection, joyful shared experience and participatory fun. Our mission requires us to see and uplift the full humanity of our artist-collaborators, our community, and our audience members; to do so we must acknowledge and reckon with racism within ourselves, our organization, and our society.
If you are a non-Black person, we call on you to take your own actions, and join us in ours. Let’s hold one another accountable. To our Black friends and collaborators, we love you and we stand alongside you.
Black Lives Matter.
Rebecca & Joan
Artistic Directors, Idiot String
As individuals and as Idiot String, we’re engaged in a long-term process of anti-racist education, reflection, and action. Right now, we are:
- Actively examining our own complicity in racist systems, including educating ourselves with media such as:
- How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- White Fragility by Robin D’Angelo
- Dismantling Racism Works (dRworks)
- Participating in anti-racist training and actions organized by:
- SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
- APTP (Anti Police-Terror Project)
- BOP (Black Organizing Project)
- Examining and changing our ensemble practices toward anti-racism and away from white supremacy, including:
- Researching and discussing the use of consensus-based decision making
- Practicing calling in and calling up as we continue to learn and grow with our collaborators
- Prioritizing our and our collaborators’ well-being and values as part of our creative process
- Reaching out to friends and colleagues to support and hold one another accountable for anti-racist reflection, education and action
- Working to be better listeners and collaborators with our BIPOC colleagues by centering their experiences and needs in group discussions and creative processes
- Finding new ways to support and lift the voices of artists of color, including accelerating hiring of BIPOC on our stages and creative teams: as one example, we’re welcoming two new Peripatetic Players into our ensemble for summer 2020, Kenny Scott and Leigh Rondon-Davis, both excellent theatremakers who performed in 2019’s Port Stories.
- Ensuring that the spaces we create and performances we host are authentically inviting to BIPOC and communities of color
Our deepest gratitude to Leigh-Rondon Davis, our collaborator and administrative consultant, who has generously provided insight and feedback to help shape this statement.
At the Peripatetic Players website we provide a list of links we have found helpful for anti-racist education, reflection, and action. If you are a non-Black person, we strongly urge you to join us in any or all of these actions, and to find other ways to take anti-racist action. For our Black community, our Black ensemble members have lent a list of resources for self-care and safety.
Invitation to conversation & ACTION
This statement exists not only to express our values and positions, but to serve as a lasting guide for ourselves and our artistic practices. We also invite you — our community of artists, audiences, and others — to join us in anti-racist conversation and action, and to help hold us accountable for our committments. Please contact us with your ideas, questions, and feedback.