In Solidarity and Community
June 1, 2020
“We must pass a better world on to the next generation. The time has come to stand together. The time for justice is now.” Dr. Indira Etwaroo
The time for justice is now. We agree! The Stella Adler Studio of Acting stands in solidarity with all who cry out for justice. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many more weigh heavily on us. We call for justice and stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who do. And yet we acknowledge that there are those in our community for whom these most recent traumas feel deeply personal. We think especially of our Black community members to say we are sorry for your extraordinary pain and we are here to offer the studio as a tool to respond and to heal.
The studio is devoted to serving its mission, based on the insight that growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous, to create an environment that nurtures theater artists and audiences so that they value humanity, their own and others, as their first and most precious priority, while bringing art and education to the community. In serving this mission we have been animated by exuberant hope and a deep belief that theater at its core is an act of radical love. Year after year we have followed our passion for theater and education as a practice of justice and love. One example of this is the Stella Adler Outreach Division, which was recently re-named the Arts/Justice Division to more accurately reflect its work. We plan to rededicate ourselves to this work.
And yet the murder of George Floyd shakes us to our core and pushes us to the brink of our own capacity to believe. We find we must fight despair from within as we witness this atrocity. We are committed to confronting what is undeniably and irrevocably systemic racism upon which our country was founded. The studio is committed to being an anti-racist organization and in using the art form of theater toward justice.
We recently received an email from a student who asked for help. He asked us to reach out to our Black students, he called them our Black artists, and offer a message of solidarity from their artistic home. Little did he know that his cry for help was helping us, bringing us back from the brink to our mission. To him, to all our Black and POC students, to our faculty and staff of color, to our partners at the Billie Holiday Theater, we stand in solidarity with you. We promise that we won’t rest until we multiply our energies to utilize theater and education to combat systemic racism.
To make this promise actionable and doable we have made a donation to our partners at the Billie Holiday Theater, our founding partner for the Black Arts Institute and the theater home to the largest African American community in the nation. In the words of the Billie’s leader Dr. Indira Etwaroo, “The time has come to stand together. The time for justice is now.”
Stella Adler Studio of Acting | New York
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