These last few days have left me overwhelmed, angry, and empty. The senseless killing of George Floyd, the multiple expressions of outrage over the aggressive treatment and deaths of black and brown people while in police custody, the peaceful protests, the riots. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that riots are “the language of the unheard.” At Studio In a School, in the face of this tragedy and global pandemic, we know that now is the time to challenge our assumptions, reflect, and actively address racism in our communities. Studio in a School condemns brutality and violence against Black people and is committed to addressing racial inequity in this country, specifically, in the education system.
At Studio in a School we know that the children are watching. It is no longer enough to simply not be racist. As an arts education organization dedicated to serving underserved children and communities, it is time to denounce and dismantle the deep roots that racism has in our society. Every child has the right and opportunity to grow up safe, healthy, and educated. Studio in a School is committed to the principles and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion as we advocate for the arts in schools. We want every child to reach their full potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. We are committed to continue serving Title 1 Schools, underserved communities and students in need. Our children deserve better access to high quality arts education that includes a future where they may thrive and grow.
In times of suffering, art helps us to heal, to find solace and strength, and to take action. Through high quality arts education, students learn to think critically about the world around them; to give voice to their unique perspectives, and to understand the perspectives of others; to process and communicate their emotions and experiences; to find creative solutions to problems; and perhaps most crucially, to develop their imaginations, so that we can envision a different future, free of the racism and oppression that plague our country.
Now is the time to connect our actions with our thoughts and words. Studio in a School will deepen its commitment to support underserved children at their schools. We will continue to denounce racism, and commit to helping each child reach their full potential regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. We re-commit to building a strong nation, where every child has the supports needed to thrive, one artwork at a time.
President, Studio in a School NYC, LLC