Racism, anti-Black practices, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all other systemic inequities have no space in the culture of Rude Grooms. We are committed to listening, learning, respecting, and disrupting any ways racism shows up at work and within ourselves, our productions, or our training. We acknowledge that the United Sates and the American Theater have a history built on white privilege, systemic racism, and exclusion. We commit to acknowledging, speaking out against, and doing our part to dismantle this systemic oppression.
This page is a constantly evolving resource for our own work in the battle to ensure Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access in our own company and in the broader NYC arts scene. If you would like to share responses, questions, or suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our commitment to “hold the mirror up to nature” begins with our own board of directors and administrative structure and extends across all areas of production. By embracing artists from a wide variety of backgrounds and celebrating the diverse tapestry of our borough, we can bring timeless stories to new audiences in refreshing and relatable ways.
Rude Grooms acknowledges that our work is created and shared in Lenapehoking, land which has and continues to be stewarded by the Lenape people past, present, and future. We recognize the longstanding and continued significance of these lands for Lenape nations and celebrate the proud and storied history of the Lenape. Lenapehoking (which contains New York City and our beloved borough of Queens) is home to the largest Native population in the United States. We believe that historical awareness of Indigenous exclusion and erasure is critically important. Below are a few resources and institutions to which we recommend making a financial contribution, and we would be grateful for any additional suggestions, information, and/or resources that you can provide.
The Lenape Center is a nonprofit organization fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts (donate here). For over ten years, their work has focused on symposia, public art, education, music, opera, workshops, exhibitions.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
(June 1, 2020) – This is a moment of collective trauma for our society. We have witnessed citizens of this country cry out for justice while a system that claims to protect and serve them has taken swift and aggressive steps towards silencing those cries as a means of preserving the image of order, and in doing so failing in its responsibility to live up to the promise woven into the fabric of our democracy- “liberty and justice for all”. We have borne witness to another iteration of the seemingly endless cycle of fear, suffering, and death- but we have also glimpsed sparks of hope.
We see it in the organization, collective action, sharing of knowledge and resources, and refusal of so many to sit on the sidelines while their brothers and sisters suffer. We see it in the public outcries of solidarity, commitments to understanding what it means to be a better ally, and the unifying, unapologetic declaration that in this country, Black Lives Matter, and must be fought for and protected. We have seen this moment of suffering be met with communal love and support. We are humbled and inspired by this, and reminded that, in the words of Solomon Burke, “If one of us is chained, none of us are free.”
Rude Grooms was built on a foundation of collaboration, inclusion, and representation, not just in the classics, but in the theatrical community at large, and in this moment of crisis, we stand firm in honoring that commitment. We stand with our Black brothers and sisters as artists, creators, friends, loved ones, and citizens of this country and say with outstretched throats and full hearts that we see you, we love you, and we will do our part to fight for you. We stand firm in our commitment to combat racism and injustice in all its forms from external sources, as well as our dedication to looking inward so that we may constantly improve our own practices and serve as a better, more complete representation of our Queens and Greater NYC community.
We urge all within our circles to take immediate action. There are numbers of organizations that need your time, financial contributions, and your unique voice. Today, we are using our platform to shine a light on the action coalition Black Lives Matter- Greater NY. Please donate with you can- be it money, resources, or time.
To all our Black brothers and sisters, friends, creators, and artists- we see you, we love you, and we stand unwaveringly by your side today, tomorrow, and for every mile of the long road ahead.
With unflinching love and support,
The Rude Grooms