First Folio Theatre stands with our colleagues in the Chicago theater community calling for an end to racial injustice.
First Folio Theatre stands in solidarity with our colleagues in the Chicago theater community calling for an end to systemic racism. We share the heartbreak and outrage over the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others who have lost their lives to brutality and senseless acts of violence.
From the beginning, humans have used storytelling to share their experiences. And as storytellers, we believe that theater is for everyone, not just a privileged few. Theater must reflect and amplify diverse perspectives to help us better understand each other’s journeys.
But First Folio cannot simply proclaim our values and leave it there. In theater, it’s words combined with action that make a play. We must pledge ourselves to the actions that will support our words. How do we start? First, we have to examine our journey and be honest about where we have fallen short. We must be open to criticism of our organization—our current and past mistakes—and graciously receive feedback from those who wish to see us thrive.
Next, we need to set short-term and long-term goals for our company to ensure that we are supporting the changes needed in our industry and our country. Among the goals identified so far are anti-racist and inclusion training for everyone affiliated with First Folio. Additionally, we will reassess our core values and mission statement to better reflect our responsibilities as a company that aspires to elevate all of our area’s vibrant artists and to tell diverse stories.
We are grateful to those who have invited us to be accountable. We have begun a meaningful dialogue on equity, diversity and inclusion within our organization. We know that our efforts to make First Folio a place where BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and audiences feel welcomed and celebrated will take time, but we are committed to making meaningful change.