Fort Worth Arts Organizations Oppose Texas 'Bathroom Bill'

Fort Worth Arts Organizations Oppose Texas 'Bathroom Bill'Earlier this week, the "Bathroom Bill," a controversial bill that would require people to use restrooms and facilities that match the sex on their birth certificates, was back on the table for discussion in Texas.

Performing Arts Fort Worth - the non-profit organization that manages Bass Performance Hall - commented that although they "generally [shy] away from involvement in political or social issues, [they feel] particularly passionate about this topic," inspiring PAFW President & CEO Dione Kennedy to send the below letter to Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. The letter was a collaborative letter, signed by several leaders in local arts organizations.

The bill has since died in Texas Legislature, for now.

Read the full letter below:

August 15, 2017

The Honorable Joe Straus
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Room 2W.13
State Capitol
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768

Dear Speaker Straus:

As members and leaders of Fort Worth and Tarrant County's strong and diverse arts and cultural community, we are writing to express our intense opposition to any legislation that would discriminate against any person or group based on gender identity or sexual orientation or limit the ability of Texas cities to provide anti-discrimination protections in their communities.

Arts and culture are part of the fabric that make a community diverse, strong, creative and collaborative. The multiple so-called "bathroom bill" laws target and create fear against people who are different, a cornerstone of discrimination. Recently, local law enforcement leaders from across the state have spoken out against any "bathroom bill" laws stating "there's no need for this legislation."

Discriminatory laws will also have a negative impact on the thriving business of arts and culture in Fort Worth. We know from our industry peers in North Carolina that this type of legislation can have a devastating economic impact on the availability of bringing world-class artists and shows to Texas, resulting in a loss of tourism revenue, a reduction in local arts-related jobs, and ultimately creating a significant negative economic impact for Fort Worth.

Fort Worth has a strong, anti-discrimination ordinance that legally prevents discrimination based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. Fort Worth continues to see strong economic and cultural growth as a result of being a city that welcomes and embraces everyone. Discriminatory laws would have a crushing effect on the local arts community, businesses and the state of Texas.

Please, join us in saying NO to any legislation that promotes discrimination in our city and state. The Fort Worth and Tarrant County arts community believes strongly in open and accepting accommodations for everyone.

Sincerely,

Amphibian Stage Productions
Kathleen Culebro, Artistic Director

Arts Council of Fort Worth
Karen Wiley, President

Circle Theatre
Tim Long, Managing Director

Fort Worth Opera
Tuomas Hiltunen, General Director

Four Day Weekend
David Ahearn, Co-Founder

IATSE Local 126
Molly Faulk, President
Dee Dee Freeman, Business Agent

Jubilee Theatre
Christie M. Howard, Managing Director

Kids Who Care, Inc.
Deborah Jung, Founder and Executive Director

Performing Arts Fort Worth/Bass Performance Hall
Dione Kennedy, President & CEO

SceneShop
Steven A. McGaw, Artistic Director

Stage West Theatre
Dana Schultes, Executive Producer

Texas Ballet Theater
Vanessa Logan, Executive Director

The Live Theatre League of Tarrant County
Lisa Loving Dalton, President

Theatre Arlington
Valerie Galloway, Executive Director

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From This Author Kyle Christopher West

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