Teresa’s Weekly Update: End of Year Advocacy Edition

by Teresa Eyring

in Advocacy,Weekly Update

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Happy Holidays! This is my last Update for 2010 and as we reach year-end, I’d like to ask that you consider a gift to TCG’s annual fund to help support the range of work we do for the field—from research and publishing to developing new artistic and administrative leaders.   TCG continues to cultivate new generations of leadership, advocate passionately for the American theatre, and transform the theatre field into a true community of shared ideas and diverse expression.  These are just a few of the ways in which TCG moves the field forward and a few of the reasons to make a gift to TCG this holiday season.   If you are interested and able, please make a contribution to TCG.

Last week, I mentioned that we will be spending time on key advocacy issues that will likely emerge as we head into 2011. With the volatility of the federal budget and other challenges on the docket of the new Congress, the times promise to be lively. We’ll need to be vigilant, and I will be covering a variety of advocacy topics in my 2011 Updates. One concern centers on the possible re-emergence of the “Culture Wars” in some form. The removal of David Wojnarowicz’s video, A Fire in my Belly, by the Smithsonian Institution from the National Portrait Gallery a few weeks ago stood as a clear reminder that art and the “appropriateness” of particular works of art can still be lightening rods for advancing political pressure in a divisive environment.  As an arts community, we learned a lot from those earlier ‘Culture Wars,’ which would inform our working toward a unified, bipartisan message. We will be monitoring these situations and taking action as needed.

Art, artists and free speech are under renewed attack in other parts of the world, with two specific current examples in Belarus and Hungary. You can read more about the eroding of civil rights and freedom of speech in both countries in my post from last week.

Yes, the world is full of challenges. But the world is also bright, thanks in large part to what you all do every day as theatres, as theatre practitioners, artists and as theatre supporters. So, please do what you can to take on the things that aren’t so easy in the world; but please also take time to reflect, rejoice and rejuvenate. I’ll be back with more Updates in 2011!