FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2017
CONTACT: Johanna Tschebull
Our country continues on a tumultuous path, and the events in the past two weeks are just the latest examples of this unsettling time. We have been and continue to be deeply disturbed by the events in Charlottesville, VA and the actions of white supremacists in this country. At Dance/USA, we have no tolerance for such hate and bigotry espoused by these groups. Dance/USA continues to imbed our core values of equity, inclusion, and justice throughout all aspects of our organization. Change is already visible in our programs and in our organization, yet we still have so much work to do both within Dance/USA and within the industry to advance racial equity.
As you may have heard, members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) resigned in protest against the President’s refusal to oppose and distance himself from white supremacist groups and their actions in Charlottesville. You can read the PCAH’s Advisory Committee’s letter here. (The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities is a White House advisory committee. Therefore, it is separate from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NEA’s programs will continue as normal.)
Additionally, former Dance/USA Honoree and dance legend Carmen de Lavallade was one of several Kennedy Center Honorees to refuse to attend a White House reception to recognize the Award Recipients. Carmen’s remarks were so beautiful and thoughtful, they deserve to be repeated here:
“In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our current leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House.”
Dance can be our refuge, our bridge, and our community. Dance can also be a force for change, offering an outlet to express those values around equity and inclusion that we hold most dear. This is the true power of the arts, and why Dance/USA continues to serve as an advocate for the field.We hope you find some peace and comfort as well as strength and determination in our art form and in each other as we all navigate these challenging political times.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Amy Fitterer, Executive Director
Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs
We believe that dance is essential to a healthy society, demonstrating the infinite possibilities for human expression and potential, and facilitating communication within and across cultures. We are committed to honoring, nurturing and advancing dance through the lens of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all aspects of our programming, services and organization.
Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance field. Established in 1982, Dance/USA sustains and advances professional dance by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of artists, administrators, and organizations. By providing national leadership and services, Dance/USA enhances the infrastructure for dance creation and distribution, education, and dissemination of information. Learn more about Dance/USA by visiting our website, danceusa.org.