What We're Reading: June 2021
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!
AAPAC released its 2018-2019 Visibility Report, covering employment statistics by race for all shows that opened on Broadway and at the 18 largest non-profit theater companies in the 2018-19 New York season—the last full season before the Covid-19 pandemic. The report tracks actors, playwrights, composers, librettists, lyricists, directors, artistic directors and—new to the report this year—designers, Broadway producers, general managers, and board members at the non-profit theatre companies. It is the only publicly available report of its kind. This season, they also tracked racial equity in funding, finding that predominantly white institutions received 4 times as much federal funding and 2 times as much state funding, but that there was more equitable funding on the city level. READ MORE>
By Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew
"We’ve been taught to look at creating art from a place of sacrifice. But what if we were to actually shift the view of theatre so that we’re not coming in being like, “We’re all going to sacrifice for the art,” but instead say, “We’re all going to bring our very best self for this story, and for that we will share in abundance.” I think that’s a very different framework in which I’d like to start approaching theatre when it comes back."
By Anna North
"But the narrative that we should have learned and grown over the past year — potentially transforming ourselves into better workers for our employers — persists, and with it damaging expectations for how people process pain and trauma. If anything, some say, what we should learn from this year is to give ourselves and others space to heal in our own ways."
By Diep Tran
"Taken together, the report paints a picture of a field where women, people of color, people with disabilities, and transgender and non-binary artists are still underrepresented in all disciplines despite diversity efforts in the theater industry. For the Counting Together organizers, the issue isn’t that there aren’t enough artists of diverse backgrounds—it’s that they are not being hired. The creators of Counting Together also want to ask why."