We, the undersigned from the cultural sector of the North East, declare that silence is not ok and silence is seen as complicity. Racism has no place in a just and humane society.
Whilst we cannot undo pain and neglect, we are calling on all of us in the arts, cultural, heritage sectors; professional and voluntary to work together to address racism and its deep roots. We must listen, have conversations and most importantly act, we know we need to do better. Everyone is part of the solution - artists, staff, trustees, partners, promoters, audiences and communities.
We want to tackle this together in sharing better understanding and practices. We stand united to bring about change in our thinking and actions as a collective of organisations and individuals.
In the weeks and months to come we will collectively act to build on this statement with concrete steps and actions to demonstrate our commitment to bringing about real change. We ask you to stand with us.
If you would like to join us in these future conversations please contact any of the points of contacts listed below:
Signee: Ali Pritchard, Artistic/Executive Director
Signees: Jonpaul Kirvan FRSA / Peter Marchal, Directors
The Angelou Centre
Signee: Rosie Lewis, Deputy Director & VAWG Services Manager
Signee: Annalbel Turpin
Stephanie Allen, Executive Director
Assembly Rooms Theatre Durham
Signee: Kate Barton
Signee: Lic Lorent
Blowin' A Hooley Theatre
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Signee: Sarah Munro, Director
Contact: Caroline Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Producer, City of Dreams / Associate Literary Producer Alphabetti
Beverley Prevatt Goldstein
Signee: Beverley Prevatt Goldstein
Bonnie & the Bonnettes
Signees: Hattie Eason, Cameron Sharp and Rebecca Glendenning, Co-Founders of Bonnie and The Bonnettes.
Signee: Bethan Kitchen, Artistic Director
This is our commitment to the black community.
It is time that we start making lasting change.
We are sorry it took such violence, such anger and so many people to fully bring this to our attention. It’s simply not good enough.
There are times to be quiet, to listen, to learn and to reflect.
There are times to speak out, to take action and to strive to bring about change.
This is the time for both.
You matter to us.
As a white theatre company, who work with predominantly white beneficiaries, with a white board of trustees, we have some important and potentially uncomfortable questions to ask ourselves:
We commit to taking proper time to answer these questions and to consider what it means for Mortal Fools to be truly anti-racist.
We commit to using the influence we have to work with others to bring about meaningful and lasting change.
And we commit to sharing all of that publicly and transparently.
We know we will need to work together with, and take a lead from, our current and future partner organisations who are already doing the work and, with that in mind, we’d like to recommend this post from Contact in Manchester, about the practical actions they’re encouraging staff, board, advocates, friends and audiences to take: https://contactmcr.com/news/georgefloyd/.
We would also like to draw your attention to a resource that has been created by Cambridge University Alumna Nandini:
This is a checklist of actions you can do to support Black Lives Matter in the UK and will be updated regularly. It includes:
- links to petitions and open letters you can sign
- templates for emails you can send
- fundraisers you can donate to and groups/orgs to support