Monday, September 15, 2014

UPDATE 9/15: HOW TO BE INVOLVED

Hello all,


Thanks for providing your email on the "Ferguson Moment Roll Call" google doc. It's humbling and exciting to see there are so many of us looking for a way to be involved, as artists and as citizens, in a movement sparked by this Ferguson Moment. I'm reaching out now to suggest some ways we can continue to be involved together and individually.


The group that started the FB page and blog (Mica Cole, Claudia Alick, and myself, Megan Sandberg-Zakian, joined shortly thereafter by Jacqueline Lawton, Danny Bryck, Katy Rubin, and Rebecca Martinez) is not an organization or a theater company, nor do we aspire to be one. What we do aspire to do is step up in service of this moment by supporting, convening, creating space, and bearing witness. You can read about the artist trip to Ferguson in the TCG blog and Howlround links below. We don't have another trip planned, but here are some things we are thinking about, and how you can be involved:


1) Please continue to share relevant stories, questions, and comments on the FB group, and use it as a space for conversation and connecting - and a catalyst for action! Some project ideas have already come out of the FB group - such as the creation of a high school and college "Ferguson Theater Curriculum". This would entail creating a list or archive of plays that address this moment in some way. Once we have this list, it would be useful for high school and college teachers who wish to use it to pitch shows for next year, encouraging production of works which allow students to have important conversations. Wanna be part of creating this? Let us know!


2) If you are in the St. Louis area, please continue to share what you are doing and let us know how we can help. If you're looking for something to participate in there: one specific call for artists, from Doug Erwin, is pasted below.* There are also two blog posts (linked below) about local projects from Jacqueline Thompson (at University of Missouri) and Shakespeare In the Streets.


3) If you are not in St. Louis: begin to plan action in your home community. Consider organizing a Town Hall style meeting (see below for some ideas**), or approaching a theater company in your city and asking them to do so. Or consider connecting with the United Story project's national artistic response (more information below***). If you're already working on actions like these or others, let us know! which brings me to:


4) We have recently added two sections to the blog, one for sharing artistic work (the "Virtual Salon"), and one for sharing Ongoing Projects and connecting with other artists doing similar work related to the ‪#‎FergusonMoment‬. If you would like to post work or post about ongoing projects, please email fergusonmoment@gmail.com with the subject heading "SALON" or "PROJECTS," respectively. More info at http://thefergusonmoment.blogspot.com/


There will be a Twitter conversation in conjunction with the Howlround pieces, on their "weekly howl," Thursday, September 18 at 11am PDT/ 1pm CDT/ 2pm EDT. Please join in, using #fergusonmoment and #newplay.


Feel free to forward and re-post, and encourage folks to add their email addresses to the Roll Call document if they would like to be on this list. We will send occasional email updates like this one.


Please be in touch via FB or email (fergusonmoment@gmail.com) with thoughts, comments, questions, hugs.


Best,
Megan, etc.


TCG blog pieces:

Howlround:


*From Doug Erwin in Ferguson (contact him via The Ferguson Moment FB group):
"On Monday I'm hosting an "artist" meeting to get help with the October 4 "Ferguson's Children: Our Voice" concert. If you'd like to attend, please come to McCluer High School's theatre at 4pm. I need artists to help teach kids some choreography, help rehearse some Shakespearean scenes, rehearse music, help adapt some poetry for performance, help with the concrete slabs for the visual art aspect, and to help Stage manage and get through the red tape. We have a rough performance list. The kids are excited and I think this will help bring the community together in a positive way. All the works are non political and are themed around "family, love, growth and positive energy". We are uniting four school districts and the event is sponsored by the city. It took four weeks, but we have approval!"


Ideas for Action in your city:


1) **Hold a Town Hall
Penumbra Theater in the Twin Cities recently did this:
Great interview with AD Sarah Bellamy: Penumbra opens its doors for Ferguson talk
Short new report on the event: Renewed Debate over Racial Equity in MN




2) ***Plan an Interdisciplinary art event/public conversation
The United Story Project (http://unitedstory.org/) is asking folks to create a series of events around the country in response to Ferguson. Here's a brief summary. Contact Cambrie Nelson at cnelson@unitedstory.org for more information.


Step 1 is: people in different communities interview people where they are about their experience with race in the US, police brutality, etc. Step 2: take those stories and "visualize" them in any medium, meaning transform them artistically, into a docu-theatrical performance, a poem, a piece of music, an edited video, a visualization of quantifiable data, etc. Step 3: aggregate all the "visualizations" of the stories, and share everything in every community where stories were gathered, either at a house party, or an art gallery, or any venue where people can gather and experience the stories both from their own communities and all the others that participated, then engage in a discussion about what action they as a community can take, and envision some kind of response project together.