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Notes From Leadership

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door.” —Emma Lazarus For most of us, the chaos and menace in the current climate around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is invisible and unfelt. Start to engage with it and you’ll see how incomprehensible it is that this is…

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  In interviews, Liza Jessie Peterson often talks about The Peculiar Patriot as a love story. Her heroine, she points out, was modeled on the people she would see waiting in long lines in the middle of the night on Manhattan’s Columbus Circle for the buses that were going to take them to see their incarcerated loved ones in upstate New York prisons. They would travel through the night, some as much as eight hours,…

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  “Who will believe thee, Isabel? My unsoiled name, the austereness of my life, My vouch against you and my place i’ the state, Will so your accusation overweigh That you shall stifle in your own report, And smell of calumny. I have begun.” —Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene iv Over the past thirty years of making, producing and presenting theater, I thought I had become resilient to the ways in which the news…

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Next week we will open a new musical, Born For This, in the Cutler Majestic Theatre. In many ways, ArtsEmerson was literally born for this moment. This new musical totally animates ArtsEmerson’s vision of a thriving world, fueled on empathy and ignited by art. At the same time, it’s strong evidence of our commitment to supporting the work of the world’s great voices, uplifting the richness of our cultural diversity in Boston, and activating our venues in the…

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    A few years ago I was invited to serve on a panel for a major foundation. To begin the meeting, the facilitator asked the dozen of us at the table to write down the name of a performance we’d seen in the past five years that had reached us in the moment and stayed with us over time. We were a diverse group of arts professionals from all over the country, we came…

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