The staff and artists of Springboard for the Arts are shocked and saddened by the events of the past week – the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarippa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith and Lorne Ahrens in Dallas, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, right here in our home state of Minnesota.
The guiding principles that shape our work as artists and as an organization include a belief that equity is necessary for vibrancy, and that our programs should address systemic and structural inequities and seek to build equity, agency and power in communities, neighborhoods and systems. We also hold that reciprocal relationships are at the core of our work. We seek mutual respect, trust, commitment, and reciprocity with all our partners. We don’t go it alone.
With our principles in mind, we want to affirm that black lives matter, that there is much work to be done to bring people together, repair trust between people and systems of power, and build new, equitable systems where all people are included, welcome and safe. We believe that artists exist in every community, and art is inseparable from the communities in which it is made. As artists we have tools: voice, collaboration, creativity, ingenuity. We have skills: the ability to make something out of nothing, to imagine a new world into being. We have power: of platform, of story, of audience. We need to use these things forcefully, intentionally, and bravely.
We will continue to support this work, to create our own programs that share abundantly, to seek out partnerships that bring new possibility, and to examine ourselves as an organization. We will work with the optimism that change is possible, and the belief that the boldness and creativity of artists can help address the challenges facing our communities.
We know we have a responsibility as artists and as humans to show up, to say something, to stand on the right side of history, to bring our whole brave, bold, creative selves the challenges our communities face, our broken culture, our unjust systems.