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Dear friends,

We've taken a few months away from our typical newsletter, and hope you've been keeping busy, happy, and healthy. In October, artEquity finished its second facilitator training intensive in the Twin Cities, and we're proud to begin calling our 2016 cohort "alumni." Already, we're hearing news of exciting and challenging conversations with colleagues, boards, and other stakeholders, and continuing to share learnings and "aha" moments from our time together this fall. 

For the past month our country has been struggling with how to process and, for many, mourn the result of our recent presidential election. During that time, we've seen evidence of a strong resistence to oppressive language, acts, and legistlature - many of which came from artists. We've been inspired by the words of the cast of Hamilton, the charge of theatre artists under the new administration (including artEquity 2016 alum James Bundy) to their communities, and the reminder to "Find your resistance and resilience. Hold it close. Get loud.”

During the holiday season and always, we encourage you to keep listening, keep engaging, and most of all, to support each other and take care of yourselves as best you can. And, if you haven't, please read artEquity's statement of solidarity

In solidarity,

the artEquity team

Members of the 2016 artEquity cohort at Penumbra Theatre in Saint Paul, MN
What's Happening
artEquity Alumni Convening 2016
Members of the 2015 artEquity cohort met up in the Twin Cities at the end of October to increase network building. The group participated in skills building, alumni network building, and had the opportunity to share learnings with the 2016 cohort (in addition to seeing theatre and socializing). Alumni Pam Wallize (artEquity 2015) and Patricia Mitchell (artEquity 2015) headed up the planning for this event, which was hosted by the Guthrie Theater. 
                       
Equity in the News
CAATA ConFest Success
This October, the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) hosted its 5th National Asian American
Theater ConFest at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. The event was a tremendous success, boasting roughly 320 attendees (many of whom took place in a silent protest in downtown Ashland on the event's second day, see photo), and marked the first iteration of a Central/West Asian/Arab/Middle Eastern Pre-Conference. Leslie Ishii (artEquity facilitator), who acted as ConFest's lead organizer, offers this reflection: "CAATA and OSF, our host, created seismic shifts and built new pathways for an equitable partnership. We are grateful to every individual and for the teamwork that created CAATA ConFest’s success." These efforts to create community become more critical each day, and the ally-building and solidarity pledged to each other in Ashland has become essential post-election. In this spirit, CAATA stands firm against the registration and incarceration/internment of Muslim Peoples and stands in continued solidarity with Native and Indigenous Peoples for Native and Indigenous Peoples Rights
. Learn more about CAATA here, and read the write up on ConFest in American Theatre.
 
artEquity Launches Seattle Cohort
In September, Carmen Morgan (artEquity Founder and Director) and Lydia Garcia (artEquity facilitator) spent time in the Pacific Northwest as they launched the first regional cohort of theatres in Theatre Puget Sound's Leadership for Social Change initiative. 

A highlight of the LFSC Seattle training was the Black Woman's Wisdom Summit, an event celebrating black women playwrights. Co-hosted by the The Hansberry Project and Intiman Theatre (a member of the LFSC cohort), the event was a tour de force. The entire cohort (all 24 participants representing 11 Seattle theatres) was thrilled to be in the presence of Regina Taylor, Lydia Diamond, Chisa Hutchison, and Dominique Morrisseau along with other local playwrights. When the twelve women walked out onto the stage, they were met with an immediate standing ovation, and no shortage of tears.

In March of 2017, Carmen and Lydia will head back to Seattle to continue working with this impressive regional cohort.
artEquity Alumni Spotlight
artEquity 2016 cohort members during a session at the Baker Community Center in Saint Paul, MN, home of Teatro del Pueblo
Standing Rock Theater Action
Larissa FastHorse (artEquity alum 2015) and Ty Defoe (artEquity facilitator), alongside other allies in the theatre community, have led tremendous action over the last few weeks to offer support for Water Protectors standing up to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protestors celebrated a victory this week after the Army Corps of Engineers denied a construction permit for the portion of the pipeline in contention. However, new information is already coming in from the energy companies who are impacted by the decision. 

The collective of theatre makers who comprise Standing Rock Theater Action have offered a few key ways to continue to support this resistance. Check out those suggestions, and offer your solidarity, here. If you'd like to find out more and/or be a part of this collective, please email standingrocktheateraction@gmail.com.

Working Within or Outside the System
Twin Cities native Wu Chen Khoo (artEquity alum 2016) will moderate a conversation on December 19th at St. Paul's East Side Freedom Library. Entitled "Working Within or Outside the System," the event is co-sponsored by Class & the Arts Discussion Network (of which Wu Chen is a part) and the American Civic Forum. Please see the description and link below! 

Working for change is complex. How and with whom does one go about it? What are the ramifications of working with established, mainstream institutions and systems? What does it mean to reject the established institutions and methods and work outside the usual economic and political structures? Is it even possible?

Click HERE for more details.

artEquity Alums in Print
artEquity alumni have shown up across the internet recently, responding to current events and theatre. Jason Tseng (artEquity alum 2016), Community Engagement Specialist at Fractured Atlas, penned (and drew) a response to the election of Donald Trump in the Clyde Fitch Report; Courtney Harge (artEquity alum 2016), Member Advisor at Fractured Atlas wrote about why the arts are implicated in Trump's victory for the same site; and Brad Rothbart (artEquity alum 2016), dramaturg and theatre theorist, published a review of Carlos Murillo's Javier Plays in American Theatre. Keep up the good work! 

Copyright © 2016 artEquity, All rights reserved.


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