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A New Way Forward: Citadel Announces Summer 2020 Associate Artists

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A New Way Forward: Citadel Announces Summer 2020 Associate Artists

Last week, the Citadel issued a statement in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. As conversations worldwide address inequalities on and off stages in the arts, the Citadel team is committed to acting on the Inclusive part of our mandate - recognizing that solidarity is not enough on its own. We, and institutions like ours, have played a role in upholding systems that further marginalize Black and Indigenous storytellers, and the responsibility is on us to ensure we are following through on our commitment to Edmonton's artists and patrons with real, significant action.

This summer, the Citadel will begin a series of measures to re-think each step of how we hire, cast, program, communicate, and so much more. Today, we are excited to announce the first of these measures and welcome our three Associate Artists who will work alongside Daryl, Chantell, and our entire team in developing the way forward.

Mieko Ouchi, Tai Amy Grauman, and Helen Belay are joining the Citadel Theatre as Associate Artists through this Summer, and we are so grateful to welcome them to the team. The Associate Artists will lead projects based around outreach, education, and programming initiatives. The priority is providing a platform for marginalized voices, as well as training opportunities for emerging BIPOC artists. This will include curating online content, acquiring/developing/commissioning work for online or live micro-performances, developing educational opportunities for artists and youth, and more.

The Associate Artists will also examine the practices and policies of the Citadel and make recommendations on changes to ensure the Citadel is open, welcoming, and safe for all, with anti-racism at the heart of the organization. These activities will include considering and consulting on artist engagement practices (audition, rehearsal, and backstage safety), considering and consulting on board and staff recruitment practices, reviewing policies and making recommendations, and recommending resources/experts to lead systemic/structural change at the Citadel.

The Associate Artists will be with us throughout the summer to initiate long-term projects that address all aspects of our operation. This is a first step, and we are actively seeking funding and support to take long-term and permanent actions following this summer with the recommendations of our Associate Artists.

A few messages from our Associate Artists:

"I look forward to working with the Citadel, Tai and Helen, and our YEG community to ask ourselves hard questions - and to build connection, learning, understanding, analysis, and actions that support a culture where every person feels seen, heard, valued, and supported."
- Mieko Ouchi

"The first play I ever saw was A Christmas Carol at the Citadel when I was 9 years old, and I can remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to spend all my time in the theatre. Growing up, my Mom brought me into the city for other Citadel shows and classes at the Foote Theatre School. It was an hour-long drive, but I remember driving to the city for classes on Saturday afternoons. The Citadel Theatre holds a very special place in my heart and I'm so excited to be joining the team as an Associate Artist."
- Tai Amy Grauman

"It's such an exciting (and increasingly precious) thing to get to actively think about the future with hope rather than the despair that is so easy to fall into these days. To get to reframe this period as not only one of loss but growth, and ultimately, change."
- Helen Belay

Click here to learn more about our Associate Artists.

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