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Race and Equity

  Renée Graham’s “White Fear is an American Problem” ran APRIL 16, 2018 in The Boston Globe   This article by Renee Graham in the Boston Globe last week shook me, hard: it explained, in direct and clear terms, something that I have intuitively felt in my own journey with ArtsEmerson’s vision but have struggled to articulate. As Artistic Director, a large part of my job is to help express the ArtsEmerson vision through the public…

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  Close followers of ArtsEmerson know the story of our commitment to fostering civic transformation through shared experience of art and dialogue. The easiest way to see that mission in action has been through the work on our stages and in the conversations we’ve both hosted and produced. For instance, take the recent world premiere of Claudia Rankine’s The White Card, which was surrounded by Citizen Read, Citizen Speak, and facilitated “Act II” conversations following…

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Earlier this year, The Boston Globe published an op-ed piece written by ArtsEmerson’s Executive Director David Howse and Artistic Director David Dower in response to the paper’s Spotlight series on race in the city. The Globe boldly titled the series, “BOSTON. RACE. IMAGE. REALITY.”, and used it to explore both the perception and the reality underlying Boston’s reputation as a racist city by investigating various sectors of civic life here.  While we were pleased to…

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  A few years ago, poet Claudia Rankine gave a reading of “Citizen: An American Lyric,’’ her 2014 award-winning collection of poems exploring racism and aggression. During the question-and-answer period, a white man stood up. “He said he had been moved by ‘Citizen” and he wanted to know what he could do for me,” Rankine recalls. “I said that I was doing very well, thank you. The real question he should have asked was ‘What…

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  “You cannot live thirty years with something in your closet, which you know is there, and pretend it is not there without something terrible happening to you. If I know that any one of you has murdered your brother or your mother, and the corpse is in this room under the table, and I know it and you know it, and you know I know it, and we cannot talk about it, it takes…

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