Jun 22, 2020
In recent weeks, The Kitchen has paused its programming in solidarity with protesters throughout the world calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Layleen Polanco, Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells, Riah Milton, and Rayshard Brooks, among countless others whose lives have been taken at the hands of police brutality and white supremacy. We reiterate our statement that Black Lives Matter. And we reaffirm our belief that serious reform is needed to address the pervasive structural inequities embedded in social systems, both within culture broadly and, closer to home, within our own organization as one that is devoted to rethinking and reorienting the spaces we share.
As a small team that works closely with our artists, we understand this is not only a moment of reflection, but also one that marks the start of a long-term—and at times uncomfortable—process that will crucially shape our future. Our team has been collectively reviewing our internal systems and practices during this time and has identified initial priorities for action. We recognize that the makeup of our organization’s staff, board, and freelance technical staff is majority white, and we commit to revisiting our hiring practices so that our team better reflects the artistic and local communities we serve. We will also be implementing regular anti-racism/anti-bias training for all staff and board members. We will hold ourselves accountable to our artists and audiences as we make progress on these actions, and as we develop additional steps to address racial inequities within our organization.
As we commit ourselves anew to these ongoing efforts, we maintain our central investment in supporting artists and thinkers whose work is essential for engaging with—and potentially transforming—our society. With this in mind, we wish to bring our new and upcoming online programs to your attention.
Tomorrow, June 23 at 6pm EDT, we will restart our weekly Kitchen Broadcast series with a conversation between art historians Pamela M. Lee and David Joselit on their recently published books Think Tank Aesthetics and Heritage and Debt: Art in Globalization. On Thursday, June 25 at 6pm EDT, artist, music producer, and DJ NAR will present a live performance.
On Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm EDT, we will host Moor Mother and Vernon Reid In Conversation as part of our continuing 50th Anniversary Conversation series. Bringing together celebrated artists whose relationships with The Kitchen span decades, the series invites these figures to discuss resonances in their practices, the historical and changing context of The Kitchen, and visions for art spaces now and in the future.
In our Video Viewing Room, we are revisiting the panel “A Diagnostic of Whiteness: The Empathy Conundrum” featuring Lauren Berlant, Sadhana Bery, Rizvana Bradley, Jane Caflisch, Lori Gruen, and Saidiya Hartman from 2018. This panel was part of The Kitchen and The Racial Imaginary Institute’s symposium within the larger project On Whiteness.
Here on our Blog, our Lead Teaching Artist Lindsay Hockaday reflects on our education program with Liberty High School Academy for Newcomers and shares a lesson that artist Lex Brown recently created for Liberty students on the urgent topic of “perspective.”
We hope that you will spend time with us online for these programs, and that you will continue to follow us on social media for updated information both on our initiatives and on ways to contribute to movements aiming for widespread change.