James Baldwin, the world-renowned playwright, author, and activist, states, “Not everything faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
At CTE/FVTC, we firmly believe that it is our mission to harness the power of the theatre to connect people, change lives, and broaden perspectives. For over thirty years, the Children’s Theatre of Elgin and Fox Valley Theatre Company has sought to bring positive, meaningful experiences to children, families, and members of our community. Today, we see that community shaken and challenged, and so we assert that our organization must publicly rise up in support of our community and the values for which we have always stood
In a world actively struggling with the effects of racism, exclusivity, and divisiveness, we at CTE/FVTC affirm the rights of each individual to make their voice heard. We stand with those peacefully advocating for the difficult but necessary changes required for our community by speaking out against racial inequality. As a company, we denounce systemic racism and prejudice and are proud to see our community, both in and out of the CTE/FVTC family, peacefully demonstrating against those injustices.
We at CTE/FVTC are seeking to better understand that the theatre is not immune to these injustices. We also understand and celebrate the theatre’s innate ability to break barriers, connect diverse communities, and develop the hearts and minds of our students. As our nation navigates this crucial movement and necessary changes, we will strive to use theatre as a way to build relationships, ignite discussion, and create empathy for others. We will work to ensure that CTE/FVTC is a place where all individuals have an equitable opportunity to learn, grow, and enrich their lives. We hope that you will join us in this essential endeavor.
We must do more. We must lean into uncomfortable, yet necessary conversations regarding equity and visibility. We must work harder to not only stand against injustice, but also provide a safe and encouraging space for all young artists, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, and all other personal forms of identity.
We recognize that change needs to happen, and CTE/FVTC pledges to be a part of that change. We will begin as an executive board to look at ourselves, our organization, and our commitment to our community in order to highlight diverse voices and produce family-friendly, quality theatre that continually demonstrates our commitment to you, our valued students and audiences. We acknowledge this will be hard work, but necessary and vital in order to create a better future for those we serve.
To all who experience discrimination and suffering, to every ally, and to every student who needs to express their unique voice: we invite you to join us at our table. Our hearts and minds are open to your stories.
Children’s Theatre of Elgin/Fox Valley Theatre Company Board of Directors
Artwork by @rallybirdbrand