Teresa’s Weekly Update: Thanksgiving Edition

by Teresa Eyring

in Weekly Update

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I wanted to call your attention to some important resources now posted on our website. If you missed the Fall Forum on Governance—or attended and would like to refresh your memory—we now have video recordings of the main sessions and the Forum resources that we hope will be instrumental in your own communities. This year’s convening was titled Leading the Charge. Focusing on diversity and inclusion in our field, we had a productive, inspiring and energizing three days with trustees and theatre leadership from across the country. We are receiving ongoing reports of theatres that are “remounting” mini-versions of the Fall Forum in their own board rooms and staff meetings, so that they build awareness, generate discussion and take action on the important topics raised during the convening. We also launched a Leading the Charge Group on Conference 2.0 and are excited to move diversity and inclusion conversations forward as a field!

By now, you should be aware of TCG’s multi-year program, Audience (R)Evolution. We are currently gearing up for phase two, the Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening in Philadelphia, February 20-22. The convening is an opportunity to delve into working models of audience and community engagement, provide insights into the research captured from AMS and hear from thought leaders outside of our field. The program is being generously funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and a portion of that funding will help subsidize participants’ expenses. You’ll need to complete an application if you’re interested in attending. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 14. If possible, we encourage multiple staff members to attend so that you can take the learnings back to your theatres together. If you have questions, please take a look at out our FAQ page or email AudienceRev@tcg.org.

I hope you had a restful and filling/fulfilling Thanksgiving. While this holiday always brings up images of colonists sharing a harvest feast with members of the Wampanoag Indian tribe, I was reminded this year that Thanksgiving was not established as a regular national observance until President Lincoln established the holiday in 1863. With the nation suffering in the midst of the Civil War, the President called attention to the progress and bounty that continued to exist and encouraged all citizens in all states, as well as those at sea and living abroad, to come together in celebration and thanks on the last Thursday of November. Here’s an excerpt from that proclamation:

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military conflict…Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

Speaking of Lincoln, I am pleased to announce that TCG will publish our first screenplay, Tony Kushner’s Lincoln. It will be available in January—something to look forward to in the New Year!