Open Dialogue IX
San Jose, California
How do Diverse Communities Respond to the NEA's Shakespeare Initiative? And How to Advocate in your Local Communities.
Convener: Pamela G Holt
John Seto, Leslie Ito, Adrianne Devereux, Mayumi Tsutakawa, Eric Hayashi, E'Vonne Coleman, Deborah Bunting, Dianne Y. Green, Keryl McCord, Abel Lopez, Victoria Bomberry, Millie Lee, Lori Robishaw, John Paul Batiste
- Public relations value of the initiative can prove to be worthwhile
- The selection of non-American, Euro-centric genre is offensive
- Initiative was developed without input from field
- Chairman Gioia stated at the AFTA convention that this initiative would appeal to all Americans
- The politics of it all
- It provides a great opportunity to educate and advocate for cultural diversity
Can promote the breadth and wealth of diverse writers
- Access and Excellence
- Shakespeare was not American
- Did not involve existing diverse representation of Shakespearean presentations.
- What was the intent and the possible future intent if other disciplines were to replicate this model?
- Directed to American People—are we not a part of America? Are we, artists, not also taxpayers?
We were completely dismissed.
- How we respond is up to us—don't participate. We have been locked out of federal cultural funding anyway.
- Use other mechanisms to affect change in policies—go straight to elected officials.
- TAAC should request a meeting with Gioia
- Request and Research
- Study and research the status of participation of diverse organizations in NEA funding and in applying for funding (those that identify themselves as organizations of color not those projects that reach communities of color)
- NEA should develop an advisory committee—same request to Grant–makers in the Arts
- Urge people to boycott the Shakespeare initiative. Provide an alternative activity; appear on radio programs; make our voices heard.
- Engage your elected officials about this concern—let them ask the questions (research).
- Department of Education—No Child Left Behind—any opportunities?
- What happens to our children happens to us?
TAAC should have a discussion:
- What is the NEA position on Department of Education Arts $?
- Is it more advantageous for money to stay at the Department of Education?
- An alliance with state level arts education organizations should be evaluated.
- Role of arts education partnership and the National Endowment of the Humanities should be considered.
- Alliances with regional arts service organizations—funding goes to regionals-structural impediments in regionals and role of State Arts Agencies (Research) in funding and support of diversity should be evaluated.
The requirements of board diversity for culturally specific organizations have been raised. (Assess the impact of board diversity on an organization's mission.)