Dear Beloved Community,
With a heavy heart and sadness, we write to let you know that after 27 years of innovative and transformative work, The Lark will be ending this glorious chapter. After many months of responding to pandemic-related crises and seeking paths to sustainability, The Board of Directors, in an unanimous vote, have come to the painful conclusion that there is no sustainable and viable path forward for The Lark as an organization. We have commenced an orderly wind-down, and are in conversation with peer institutions to re-home existing Lark programs and fellowships. It is our sincere hope to conduct this process in the same tradition that we have done all our work—with generosity, gratitude, and while centering the communities we serve.
In early 2020, as our founder began to transition out of his active role in the organization, we were excited to launch The Lark into a new era. Before we could fully realize this vision, the pandemic hit and we, along with every other arts organization, were suddenly in an entirely new scenario: Rather than building on 25 years of meaningful artistic development, we were simply struggling to exist. Caring for the beautiful, vast artistic community we serve was our top priority, and our staff gave everything, as they always have, in support of this mission.
For 27 years, The Lark has had the immense privilege of serving playwrights, whose voices and work have transformed the theater landscape. We have nurtured a global community of writers at all stages of their careers. We created a space that empowers the individual voice, allowing writers to explore their most vulnerable, ambitious and courageous work. We created a place of abundance, collaboration, playfulness and joy. Through a culture of respect, care and access and inclusion, we embraced the unique gifts of every member of our community. By believing in the power and impact of the individual artist, we became a nexus between theater and cultural change. We built a system of artistic and community support around playwrights who have been historically underrepresented in order to change who will be historically represented. We created a community space that values diversity of thought and innovation, sparking conversation and expanding horizons to imagine a world that is truly just and beautiful.
The Lark has never been beholden to a physical place. It is a spirit, a transformation. Our methodologies and philosophies, which empower playwrights to write what they choose, have permeated the theater landscape. One of our core programs, “The Roundtable,”—coined after the literal round wooden table that sat in our Board chair’s office and home to many a “staff drinks”— is now synonymous with writer-empowered developed work.
We know our work is not done. But, as we all have been transformed by The Lark experience, we know that we will carry with us all that The Lark taught us throughout its amazing 27 years. We know that its spirit will live on through every one of you.
Thank you so much for being part of our community. Thank you for being part of our journey. Thank you.