Dear communities -
We first want to send all of our energy and light towards the incredible group of folx who are seeking justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and the thousands of other Black, Indigenous and other people of color killed by the systems of violence, inequity, and brutality that continue in our country.
The work of the Playwrights’ Center is guided by meeting the needs of the artist community we serve as we make our decisions regarding programming, resources and community engagement.
In late March, as a response to the COVID crisis, we launched a Spring Season of work in order to center our playwrights’ extraordinary voices during this pandemic, and to compensate theater artists facing a devastating time of unemployment and uncertainty. But as Playwrights’ Center fundamentally values the health and well-being of all, it’s critical that we take care of the members of our artist community and staff, so they can respond and focus on their immediate needs during this moment.
In conversation with the staff and artist leadership, we have decided to postpone our remaining spring programming until later this summer, while ensuring all artists remain paid for this work.
At the same time, we feel it is critical to continue sharing artist responses right now, and recognize that what we share and whose voices we uplift matters deeply.
Last month, we commissioned Minneapolis-based theater artist and activist Shá Cage to write a featured article for us. Shá has been part of the Playwrights’ Center family for many, many years, and we’re always grateful when she lends her voice to the work of the Center. The result of the commission was RUN!!!, a powerful meditation on the past few months, written following the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
After speaking with Shá over the past few days, in response to the murder of George Floyd, we have jointly decided to move ahead with publishing her article RUN!!! as written, along with commissioning a second piece that will be published next week, building upon the powerful narrative she has created here.
We look forward to partnering with Shá not only on these writings but on a bigger project with her company TruRoots that seeks to create a space for the building of an anthology of Twin Cities Black artist voices. Stay tuned for more details on that project soon!