In the year 2020, BoxFest Detroit, an annual festival that showcases and supports women directors, is set to celebrate our 18th year of grassroots theatre.
Now that we are finally a “real” nonprofit thing, we are looking back at what makes us, us. We recognize the support from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, particularly Black women, throughout those 18 years. BoxFest Detroit has seen women of color as producers, stage managers, directors, playwrights, actors, audience members, donors, and volunteers.
We have established a community that we view as family, so we have no choice but to speak out against the systemic racism that is pervasive in the arts, our Metro-Detroit community, and throughout the country. We see our family hurting and grieving from the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other Black people whose names we will never know. We are angry, and we are hurting with you. And, as we look in the mirror at a production team that has been primarily white women throughout the years, we know we have our own work to do. We must look inward, reflect, and take action in order to move forward as agents of change.
We pledge to amplify and uplift the voices of women of color in our festival and in our Michigan theatre-making community. We will stand in solidarity with these women and all who share the goal of anti-racism. When we miss the mark, we will also reflect deeply and strive to do better. And since art and social change are intertwined, it is our commitment to continue to support the artistic journeys of our directors to guarantee a space where justice can be practiced and imagined.
We see you, and we stand with you. Black Lives Matter.