August 17, 2020
As we continue to negotiate our current situation with the shifting Covid-19 guidelines, with the fear and anxiety that dominates, with the fact that our children face an unpredictable future, we see the value of community more and more and that we really only have each other.
The times are big and things around us are changing fast.
Our schools have diminished to our living rooms. The work place occupies the same space as our children’s zoom classes, and so many of us are panicked about how we will navigate our dwindling incomes, our government inadequacy, and the upcoming election.
Front and center for many of us are the gross inequities that continue to be revealed through the BLACK LIVES MATTER uprising.There has been a deep reckoning of all of our heralded ideas and how they are reflected in our storied institutions and those who run them. People are being fired for racist ideology and people are abandoning ship as the financial health of organizations fail and thousands of people are being laid off or permanently let go. Food lines swamp our cities and families are on the brink of evictions. Those hardest hit by Covid-19 are people of color.
And a few people just keep getting richer and richer.
It is interesting that the word pivot, a dance term, is the word of the hour. Yes, we are all pivoting, trying to figure out what to do next to survive and how to cope with so much injustice.
What we are grappling with here at Dance Mission is what it means to be in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter effort. We want to support our Black colleagues, audiences, and children as we move forward. We need to put systems in place that make a difference and our first idea is to start a Reparations Program at Dance Mission. This is what we have come up with!
People of African descent will receive:
Theater space free of charge
Free tuition for youth classes
Half-off of adult classes and
Reduced rates on rehearsal space
This is just a beginning!
To my white friends and supporters of Dance Mission please join me in:
- Studying the roots of colonial oppression;
- Listening with intention and not readily giving an opinion in multi-cultural settings;
- Making contributions to black liberation efforts, organizations, and individuals. Afro Urban Society, one of our long-time partners, is collecting funds. Support them!
And finally as I go into this election of 2020 I will vote with the understanding that the founding of this country was based on the genocide of Native peoples, and the enslavement of African peoples, and the wanton theft of Mexican land.
There is no glorious past! The future is ours if we make it!
Stay Vigilant! Stay safe! We will prevail!
Krissy Keefer, Executive Director
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE REPARATIONS PROGRAM
- Adult classes: If you are a person of African descent and want to receive 50% off of adult online and outdoor classes, put in the discount code “reparations” when registering for class. (Please note that this will not cut into our teachers’ pay. Instead, Dance Mission is covering the difference.)
- Youth classes: If your child is of African descent, youth program tuition is waived. Email Fredrika@dancemission.com to register.
- Studio rentals: Rehearsal/studio space is limited during COVID-19. We are renting space on a case by case basis and mostly to people who are rehearsing solos or duets. Email Fredrika@dancemission.com to reserve space at a discount of $15/hr (normally $22/hr on weekdays and $27/hr on weekends).
- Theater rentals: The theater rental program is currently on pause due to COVID-19. However, we will resume the program once it is safe to do so. Artists of African descent will receive the space free of charge. Artists will only be responsible for covering the cost of staff, which includes the lighting designer and technician, sound technician, house manager, and box office. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.