Black Lives Matter

Actors standing facing audience in an outdoor venue with a lake in the background

Black Lives Matter

Shake on the Lake/Theatre@37 recognizes that by working in the United States and in the arts, we operate within systemic racism and oppression. Neutrality and silence only feed this further. We apologize for being complicit in this, and we pledge to do better.  
We need to share our concern with the public and our communities for our Black, Indigenous and Peoples of Color (BIPOC) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning,+ (LGBTQ+) company members. Safety is always our primary concern. Systemic racism has shown time again that BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, musicians, fathers, mothers, children, sisters and brothers have been unjustly targeted, and murdered in this country. 
When the freedom to breathe can be taken away from a human at any moment, the very act of creating art becomes a luxury. We do not believe that anyone is inherently entitled to create art at the expense of another’s fear and oppression. The system is already unequal. We want this to end. 

We acknowledge that the very lake we call home is actually not ours, but that of the Haudenosaunee. This very fact imbues us with humility that we have a long way to go to achieve our goals of an equitable society. 

With these challenges, we are committed to the work of anti-racism and anti-oppression in our organization, in our lives, and in our art. We hold ourselves accountable, and want to be held accountable, for working to dismantle the systemic racism, oppression, and violence that permeate our country and our industry. We know that this is a project for a lifetime, but one that if engaged in, would make future lifetimes better. 

The work to be anti-racist and anti-oppression is just that: work. It’s the hard work that artists and social justice activists before our time put in, making their mark. It is now our turn to move the wheel of change. 

In order to do so, Shake on the Lake will grow by:
  • Increasing investment in our Voices UnCaged Programming implemented in prisons to help returning citizens explore their own voices through theater
  • Continuing to diversify our company and promote BIPOC and LGBTQ+ actors into leadership roles, and produce, present, and program original works made by them
  • Expanding our board to include additional BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices
  • Working with local indigenous peoples to acknowledge, celebrate, and learn about the land and peoples who came before us
  • Engaging our audiences in conversations that acknowledge their own racism, decenter themselves, and actively engage in anti-racist practices
  • Organizing and taking part in annual anti-racism trainings and workshops
  • Actively inviting and engaging BIPOC audiences 
  • Being active, attentive, and available 
We ask you at this time to shift your attention to organizations dedicated to social justice. At the end of this statement, we share the name of groups whose work we respect; we ask you to support them with your time, resources, or money, if you can and when you can. We also include resources that we have found beneficial to educate ourselves on these practices.  

Please hold us accountable as we join art with activism. There is work to do. Join us.  

Black Lives Matter.

In Solidarity, 
Josh Rice, Pilar McKay, and the Board of Shake on the Lake

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