Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE FERGUSON MOMENT: THE ORIGINAL CALL

We call on theatre artists across the nation to spark and organize national artistic response to the oppression, violence, and resistance happening in Ferguson, MO and its relationship to all of our communities and American history. 

 We call this THE FERGUSON MOMENT.


 We don’t know what this will turn into but this weekend we have THREE GOALS:



1) SERVE: We are asking artists to hold time on Saturday, August 23 to support community organizations in Ferguson. Current service stops include:
•Greater St. Marks church (9950 Glen Owen Dr, St Louis, MO 63136) @ 10 am
•Vigil at police station (222 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson, MO 63135) @ 12 pm
Peace rally @ 2 pm. (9131 W. Florissant Ave. at Ferguson Rd, Ferguson MO)
More info below.

2) WITNESS: We are asking artists to show up in Ferguson to witness this moment in history. To take it in, to document, to listen and to UPLIFT THE VOICES OF THE PEOPLE OF FERGUSON. More information here.

3) COLLABORATE: We are asking artists to join us on August 24th at 6:00 pm CST at the Regional Arts Commission to spark and organize national artistic response, learn from each other, and share work. All are welcome. Spread the word! More information here.


Want to join us?

ACTIONS:

1) Fill out this form so we can take a “roll call” of interested artists.

2) Come to Ferguson to witness and stand in solidarity.
Folks are asked to please get in touch with local organizations to get your marching orders and be sure you are part of an organized response. Be persistent and patient as information is not always immediately easy to find. Also, please be safe. It’s volatile out there.

Organizations include:
PICO (Twitter: @PicoNetwork)
The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) (Twitter: @OBS_STL)
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Dream Defenders (Twitter: @DreamDefenders)
Many of the above organizations also have donation opportunities listed on their website, facebook, or Twitter. 
Here is another reputable list of donation opportunities.
Please also see the list below of service organizations and opportunities.

3) Commit to being part of an ongoing, national creative response.

We’ll be in touch as things progress about a coordinated response. In the meantime, consider organizing your own “Ferguson Moment” on Sunday, August 24th – a community forum, dedicated to open discussion about “the art you’re making and the art that you want to make in response to this moment.” Let us know what you're doing by using the "Roll Call" form.


WHO WE ARE:
Claudia Alick, Mica Cole, and Sharifa Johka are producers at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a director based in the Boston, MA area. Jacqueline E. Lawton is playwright, dramaturg, and TCG’s Diversity and Inclusion online curator.

We know each other through Theater Communication Group’s convenings on diversity, inclusion, and equity in the national theater field. What began as a few Facebook statuses about mobilizing an artist response has become an opportunity to organize a national conversation. We’ve been having lots of conversations with Ferguson and St. Louis based artists about timing and the purpose of artists showing up. We know it’s tricky. What started as an impulse to create art with the artists in the St. Louis area has evolved into a call for citizen artists to show up and partner with community service organizations to provide needed support with basic services, as well as to show up in solidarity with the protestors as witnesses/documenters who can lift up voices from within the community and thus offer alternative narratives to our networks and the nation. Thanks for being here.