Dear Theatre Community,
The Department of Theatre recognizes its Black students. The department acknowledges the incredible strength they demonstrate by coming to school, creating their work, and training to pursue their dreams while the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other Black and Brown folk tragically remind them that Black Americans are killed for the simple act of existing in the United States of America.
As the theatrical arts provide a platform for young Black artists to write, design, direct, and perform works that speak against racism and the structure that supports it, the Department of Theatre commits to ensuring the safety and visibility of its Black community through the following actionable items:
We commit to providing time and space for our Black students to share their frustrations, fears, and concerns as they study in our department. We will listen first, and believe our Black students’ experiences.
We commit to making all spaces in the Department of Theatre safe spaces for our Black students. In our classrooms, hallways, shops, and rehearsal spaces, we will ensure that our Black students feel protected and represented in our curriculum, season selection, and guest artist program.
We commit to inviting Black student presence into the daily operations of our department. As committee student representatives, Black voices will be part of determining and guiding our department’s present and future success.
We commit to refining our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement, and holding ourselves to the high standard it outlines.
We know that we cannot understand fully what our Black students experience. But, we do know that we can and must hold space for everyone to process and progress through the challenges these students face as they prepare to be the future of American theatre.
- Michael J Riha, Chair of Theatre
CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 UPDATES
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Please note: Guidance from the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health and university may change rapidly given the fluidity of the situation.
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