I’m writing to reflect on the events that are happening in our city and our country today.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center shares in the outpouring of grief and anger at the senseless loss of Black lives, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, our own Botham Jean and a tragically high number of others who don’t make headlines. We stand firmly against structural and systemic racism.
We believe that all people have the right to feel valued, respected and safe. We are a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, and we advocate for underrepresented groups to provide access to the arts. And yet there is still much more that we can do.
Art is a form of expression that brings people together physically as well as culturally, through its capacity to tell a community’s shared story, to inspire reflection, and form connections that transcend differences. This is core to the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s mission, an invitation to all people in our community to discover, to share in an experience, to be entertained. Perhaps the arts are even more important in times of crisis – they have the ability to expose us to a different point of view, to expand our thinking, to allow us to see the world through others’ eyes, and to open a dialogue that can lead to understanding and healing.
There is no justification for the long-standing lack of progress on basic human rights, opportunities, and protections. Good intentions are not enough. The only wrong thing to say is to say nothing at all. It will take honest dialogue, and it will take all of us speaking up and taking a stand for what we know is right, to drive real systemic change.
We recognize the tremendous amount of work that must be done, and we stand firm in our commitment to take this challenge to heart.
Mahatma Gandhi famously said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The Center commits to being a part of the change. Let’s commit, together, to building a world structured on equity, diversity, understanding and respect, and bring those values to everything we do. There is much work to be done, but together, we can be the change we know this world needs.
President & CEO
AT&T Performing Arts Center