This four-part series brings artists, and arts and civic leaders together for
courageous conversations about inclusion and diversity in the arts. Panel members in this event are Murray Chase, Michael Edwards, Richard Hopkins, Julie Leach, and
Daniel Bernard Roumain.
(Sarasota-Manatee, FL; February 5, 2021) The Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that promotes using the unifying power of the arts to nurture inclusion and diversity across the regional arts and cultural landscape, presents “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Performing Arts,” part of its free Arts & Racial Justice Panel series, Monday, March 1, 5-6:30 p.m., via the Zoom webinar platform. The moderator for the discussion is Georgia Court, the owner of Bookstore1Sarasota, and a former journalist, author, educator, and proprietor of a public relations company.
Panel members include Murray Chase, the producing executive director of Venice Theatre; Richard Hopkins, the CEO of Florida Studio Theatre; Julie Leach, executive director of became Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe; and Daniel Bernard Roumain, a composer, violinist and educator. The series is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and is a collaboration with Florida Studio Theatre’s Forum Series. The event is free, but registration is required at www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org by February 26.
According to Michéle Des Verney Redwine, SBAC’s president, SBAC’s Arts and Racial Justice Panel series provides a forum for artists and arts and civic leaders to participate in a dialogue Redwine describes as “courageous conversations.” The first panel explored issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the visual arts. The final two events are: April 19 (media/literary); May 10 (education).
Redwine explains that SBAC’s Arts and Racial Justice Panel is a first step to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in a broad community discussion where organization leaders from all the arts join people representing African American, and Caribbean Diaspora ethnic and racial sectors of the community.
“We were overwhelmed with support for our first panel in January,” says Redwine, explaining that more than 325 people joined the session, which was moderated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. “The discussion was lively, vital and extremely enlightening. It illuminated the contradictions and possibilities for growth for racial equity in the regional visual arts world. There’s a long journey ahead but this was a great beginning.”
Redwine adds that, “Diversity is the first step in building a healthy community. How can we point out our blind spots, widen racial parity in our organizations and civic infrastructures, encourage diversity hiring criteria, and highlight opportunities for artists of color in our region? How can we offer access to the arts to both artists of color and audiences of color? This series looks hard at real-life challenges, provokes and questions and, ultimately, explores transformative solutions.”
For more information about the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org.
About Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative
The Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative is a nonprofit organization in Sarasota-Manatee, FL. Its mission is to advocate for greater exposure to African-American artists and artists of African descent throughout the greater Sarasota-Manatee region and to provide educational forums and symposia to expose area residents, visitors, students, and others to the work of these artists. Visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org.