A CALL TO ACTION
What is it about the spelling-binding words of a leader? Words strong enough to compel individuals towards action and elicit a patriotic response. These words of leaders (the good, bad, and ugly) signify specific moments in history; turning points of democracy or power surges of the hungry. The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of citizens to unite and find solidarity in one another and their government to act. At his Inaugural Address, he states, “Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of Man.”
We wanted to respond to the election of Donald Trump as President. Like many others, there’s no words; just raw emotion. How do we respond to his words of “Make America Great Again” when they threaten the rights of communities? A man who depicts a “great” America as one divided by walls, fear and violence. Despite our political ties, we the public must come together in solidarity to fight for freedom.
A thought process that may help to ease the qualms may go something like this:
I fear violence
I fear people’s perspectives
I fear the future
Unity means supporting each other
Unity means acceptance
Unity means believing in the greater good
I am grateful for the family and friends that I have
I am grateful for every breath I take
I am grateful for opportunities that before I could not fathom
Making the transition from fear to gratitude should put in perspective what we are trying to change the world for. This is time to listen to the call and act. To believe in our power to move the nation. What will you end up fighting for?
Today is Giving Tuesday. It’s a day that asks us to reflect on the joy of giving. With many worthy organizations and causes, consider taking a moment to give back to your local, grass-roots, multidisciplinary arts organization. The financial reality for an arts organization to exist is a state of not knowing. With funding in a perpetual up-in-the-air state we never what may change or get cut. Especially in our schools, our residencies may get the short end of the funding stick and come to an end. What keeps us pushing onward is our commitment towards this mission: performance with a purpose. The mission to use art to create change in the world. To create opportunities and platforms to share and discuss stories from our community. We aim to build solidarity in our communities, despite our differences, for the greater good of community. We empower our students, audiences and ensemble members to use art as our secret weapon. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we do know that we cannot give up the fight for this mission.
Take a moment today to reflect on the causes you care about and consider Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble. Consider one of the 5,000 kids your donation goes towards. A donation that allow them self-expression and creativity. Consider the social-justice oriented performances that creates platforms for conversations to be had. Conversations that have included post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, sexual assault and gun violence. If there’s any cause to fight for this holiday season, fight for art. As Oscar Wilde, “Art never expresses anything but itself.” Let’s use art to unite for a better tomorrow. That’s what we’re fighting.
Happy Holidays, Friends!
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