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What We're Reading: April 2020

Equity in the Arts

As members of an organization that believes in the power of conversation to promote systemic change, the team here at The Lark often circulates, among ourselves, anecdotes and emails about materials we've read lately that have moved us. In accordance with our commitment to the amplification of necessary voices that reflect the world we live in, this monthly post compiles some of the media we have been tuned in to, to share with our wider community. We know these are only a sampling of all the insightful work out there, so if we missed anything that had an impact on you this month, we encourage you to share in the comments section!

This month's post is a bit longer than usual because we seem to be reading and watching a lot more these days (wonder why THAT is) but if you read all the way to the bottom we promise it will be worth it...

Disabled Communities in the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Amy Gaeta

"Amid this pandemic, more than I’ve ever in my life,  I see how much nondisabled people need the disabled community. We are experts when it comes to isolation and pandemics. We know how to advocate our legal rights as patients... We know all this because for many of us, it’s our daily reality."

A post from the Disability Visibility Project on how many of the efforts to build community remotely are ones Disabled people have been using for years.

It’s Hard Being Cut Off from Society? Welcome to My World

"This moment can remind us that those with disabilities are at the forefront of adaptation. Because we understand how difficult the world can be, we’re forced to be more creative, more passionate, and more inventive."

Another commentary, on IndieWire, on how the Disabled community has been dealing with the problems COVID-19 has posed for decades. Bonus shout out in this piece to another 'WWR' contender, Netflix documentary Crip Camp.

White Supremacy Culture, But Make it Remote

"Thinking a lot right now about how this a moment for our orgs to pivot. To do something different. We can’t do business as usual, but make it remote. Business as usual is white supremacy culture."

An Instagram post that calls on the field to consider Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun's "The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture" (a 'WWR' for the ages) in light of the remote working situation the pandemic has put us in.

James Ijames' Haiku Plays

"I’ve been writing little haiku poems and plays for a while. I like the form because it forces me to be specific and clear. How can I create a story or character or an emotional arc with 3 lines, 5/7/5 structure?... So I’ve decided to do one a day for everyday we are practicing social distancing."

Light plays for a little light in your days!

How to Do Nothing, Resisting the Attention Economy 

by Jenny Odell

“The point of doing nothing, as I define it, isn’t to return to work refreshed and ready to be more productive, but rather to question what we currently perceive as productive.”

It's a book! But if you don't want to buy or read the whole book, you can also check out the transcript of Jenny Odell's keynote speech of the same name.

Zoom Playwriting Workshop with Young Jean Lee

"Prompt #5 - Take three minutes to imagine your dream audience member for the show."

Young Jean Lee's method for starting a new full-length play, through a three-hour, writing intensive workshop on Vimeo.

The Forgotten Art of Assembly

by Nicholas Berger

"Simply relocating existing structures of theatrical art production online doesn’t solve the problems that existed in those structures IRL. Instead of rushing at cleverness and temporary solutions, contorting theatre inside out, maybe we ought to examine the capitalist establishment we live under that demands artists, natural-born hustlers, empaths, and problem solvers keep hustling to make a buck online, a field already overpopulated with free content, during an unprecedented global pandemic."

A Medium post questioning the theater field's drive to generate digital content in the wake of the coronavirus.

Defunct Words and Phrases Thanks to the Coronavirus Crisis

by Emily Flamm

"Festival/ Bless you/ You can stand under my umbrella/ Living my best life/ Weekend"


And finally...

You read all the way to the end of the post and you shall have your reward! Okay we know you probably just scrolled directly here but, there's a pandemic, you deserve this.