As a diversity consultant, I feel the performing arts can be a powerful medium to address issues such a racism, homophobia, aging, economic inequality and more. Sometimes people need to be transported outside themselves and their daily lives to see something on stage or hear something in music that can communicate to them much better than a written editorial or a political debate.
Blogs I published earlier this year about diversity and inclusion being promoted through the performing arts include:
• “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Through Bluegrass Music,” about an innovative annual concert called “Shout and Shine” of diverse Bluegrass musicians. This celebration came about in 2016 as a direct response to North Carolina’s oppressive HB2 “bathroom bill” discriminating against our LGBT citizens.
• “A great diversity experience – Theater Breaking Through Barriers” about enjoying an off-Broadway play in New York City which featured actors with a wide range of disabilities.
The JTP’s current 2017 – 2018 season is titled “Equity and Identity” and will address issues such as racism, homophobia and classism. Though my diversity consulting practices covers all areas of diversity, my deep area of expertise is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), so I am looking forward to their February play “Bent” which is set in 1940’s occupied Berlin and confronts the persecution of the marginalized, particularly homosexuals.
Please seriously considering supporting the work this wonderful organization does in our community through sponsorship or becoming a season subscriber – details on the JTP website.
And if you are one of my blog readers from outside the area, perhaps see if there is a similar theater company in your community, or perhaps consider starting one!