At a recent virtual event, an anonymous user sent two hateful, racist messages via the Zoom chat to an A.R.T. staff member who was a panelist. In conversations with the staff member following the assault we agreed it was important to hold this experience as a community, to inform our staff, board, and audiences about the incident, and to assert our expectations that anyone who enters through our doors—virtually or in person—commits to upholding anti-racism as a value.
A.R.T. will not tolerate anti-Blackness or racism of any kind and is unequivocally opposed to hate. We expect everyone in the A.R.T. community—including those who engage with us on social media—to uphold the value of anti-racism.
To improve safety for all moving forward, we have implemented changes to our virtual event registration process; we have codified language that will be included in all of our pre-show and pre-event emails that outlines our zero-tolerance policy for race-based harm; and we are presently working on updating our ticket sale purchase path so that it will prompt audience members to acknowledge and agree to upholding anti-racism as a value at A.R.T. shows and events.
We must stand together against assaults like this one to create an environment that is uninhabitable to racism and discrimination, and where all BIPOC staff, artists, volunteers, audience, and community are seen, heard, valued, and provided the opportunity to thrive. This work is only possible when we do it together.
Thank you for being our partner in it.