Great Small Works is fully in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and honored to bring all of our creative and communal power to the struggle for justice, safety and well being for all Black people. We are grateful for the brilliant multi-generational leadership of Black organizers, and look forward to following their lead in the work of transforming our world. We commit to deepening our abolitionist study, to sitting with discomfort, and to reckon with our collective past. A task, In the words of Professor Angela Davis, that should have happened 150 years ago. We will try many things. We will put our bodies on the line. We will join the fight against white supremacy from our homes, in all the ways we can. We will continue to make art, and regalia for street protests. We will donate to Black led organizations and continue to partner with colleagues in many different Black communities. We will cite the layers of Black aesthetic and political wisdom that have always informed our work. We will maintain our open studio space, Building Stories, as a place where movement art and exploration of all kinds can happen. We want BIPOC puppeteers and makers to specifically know the space is available to them. Finally, we encourage all puppeteers to feel they can use their skills in this moment to be solid co-conspirators in building Black Liberation. We know this liberation frees us all! While we may not have huge financial reserves, we are wealthy in experience, success, and failure. We have methods and models to share with our community. We will keep our website (greatsmallworks.org) and other social media sites updated with materials that embody BLM values. To The best of our ability, we will make ourselves available to communicate with folk who have questions or want support in building their own movement engagement.
During the upcoming nights of "Isolating Together: Online International Toy Theater Festival" Days 5 and 6, Great Small Works will invite ourselves, participating artists and the whole audience to support the creativity of BIPOC puppeteers directly...by donating all of our show proceeds to The Black Puppeteer Empowerment Grant & Creative Research Residency under the leadership of Program Mentor Brad Brewer through an initiative by Puppet Showplace Theater, Brookline Ma. We see the larger goal to be bringing more resources to the field of puppetry in general, and to removing obstacles to participation for BIPOC individuals, and everyone marginalized by systemic exclusion. As we work towards that goal we puppeteers can, in the words of Andrea J. Ritchie, Miriam Kaba and Woods Ervin, create a "society based on mutual accountability, a passionate reciprocity and collective liberation. In the words of Grace Lee Boggs, "we are all part of the problem, so we are all part of the solution."
Going forward we will study the 'We See You White American Theater" statement and demands. Though our theater work is on a smaller scale, we believe that the materials our BIPOC peers have offered in this road map is invaluable to making necessary change happen in all realms of theater and performance.