We’ve covered a lot of ground in our three days together, and I want to leave you with three short thoughts.
First, after this Forum, I am ever more convinced that capitalization and diversity & inclusion aren’t disparate concerns but deeply connected to the long term vitality of our field. Whether we’re discussing human or financial resources, we must, as David Hawkanson said, challenge the models we’ve inherited to see if they still make sense in our rapidly changing world. For it is not just our financial assets that are sometimes trapped in ill-advised endowments; but exclusive structures have evolved with respect to our human assets. Our theatres of color and theatre people of color, women, the LGBTQI community and many others, with full and equitable access to the resources of our field, will lift us all up towards vitality.
Second, the key to making change is accountability, and the key to accountability is sitting right next to you. If the Diversity & Inclusion Institute succeeds, and I believe it will and must, it will do so because we challenged each other to live up to our promises, to stay at the table and lifted each other up when we fell short. That holds true for our work with capitalization: watching the knowledge exchanged between peers in our breakout sessions reminds me of what is possible when we are generous with what we know. And as we were reminded this morning by August Wilson’s words, we don’t have to always like each other, but we are responsible to each other, and we are responsible to the next generation of theatre people, who will either inherit a well-capitalized and truly-inclusive theatre movement, or a field that grew silent about the things that matter.
Finally, as we continue the struggle on these perpetual challenges, I want to bring back that quote from Toni Cade Bambara, “the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” TCG’s new vision statement doesn’t just imagine a better world for theatre, but also a better world because of theatre. We believe that a vital theatre, one that has the diverse human and financial capital to make truly vital work, is irresistible; and can and must change the world. See you in San Diego!