June 11, 2020
Like all theaters around the country, the Marriott Theatre has been closed since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We greatly miss being able to bring our audiences live theatre and are eager to be able to collaborate with our wonderful artistic community again soon.
However, this temporary pause gives us the unique opportunity to spend valuable time reflecting upon what kind of organization we have been and what we want to be when we are able to reopen.
The recent horrific death of George Floyd, on the heels of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, has reinvigorated the conversation around race in our country and around the world. Mass protests have not only shed light on these injustices but highlights the continuing issue of systematic racism in our country.
We have been listening and it is time for a rebirth when it comes to our focus on diversity, inclusion, equity and creating a safer space for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists. Black lives matter. The contributions of BIPOC individuals in the theater world have long been exploited, marginalized, silenced and excluded.
Upon reflection, we have come to understand that we have played a role in perpetuating this systemic racism. To our BIPOC artists past and present we would like to say, if we have ever hurt you; if you have been wronged under our watch; if your voice hasn’t been heard, we are truly sorry for the harm we have caused. We apologize for the times that we contributed to this culture of systemic racism. We must and will do better.
Although our theatre is closed for business, we are using this time to organize and outline the ways in which we can cultivate a culture of anti-racism within our organization and make our space a more welcome, safe and encouraging environment in which all BIPOC artists can flourish. We do not yet have all these answers. But we have begun the introspective journey required to do this work. We are listening to our BIPOC friends and colleagues. We hear you and we are committed to finding these solutions together. We embrace this responsibility with open hearts and open minds and in the hopes that both our artists and our audiences will join us in building a better world together.
The Marriott Theatre