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04
June

A Message from WCC Executive Director Erin Williams and President of the Board Tracy Kraus - June 4, 2020

Dear Worcester:

We are facing a crisis that must be addressed now.  The Worcester Cultural Coalition — representing arts, culture, and creative nonprofits committed to equity for all — stands together in outrage, sadness, and commitment, to address the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department on Memorial Day.  This unconscionable act, and the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, are but another example of the systemic racism experienced by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.

Our hearts and minds go out to members of our immediate and national communities feeling pain, rage, and exhaustion resulting from the oppression which has been part of the American experience for centuries. We have the responsibility to address structural injustice, oppression, racism, and abuses of power. Now is the moment for change.

The Worcester Cultural Coalition’s mission is to draw on Worcester’s diverse cultural assets to (among other things) support active creative engagement for all. Arts and Culture create opportunities to engage with, record, and experience our world through multiple perspectives. Through arts and culture, we express our past and futures, our sorrows and joys, our fears and ambitions – our creative expressions are the purest form of our humanity itself. In these times where the definition of humanity seems up for debate, let us be clear: The Black experience is part of the human experience. Black Lives Matter. Black and marginalized voices must be heard.

The Worcester Cultural Coalition is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive community for all. Now is the time for our creative and cultural community to acknowledge and help end the cycles of violence, to address structural racism, and to right injustices through our collective, creative, and cultural work.

The Worcester Cultural Coalition Board of Directors will be acting on the Worcester Cultural Plan, and encouraging our fellow WCC members and communities to join us:

  • Embrace and foster cultural and creative expression, ways of life, activities, and organizations meaningful to all residents, while providing equitable opportunities and access to resources.
  • Select and Elect leaders, staff, artists, and creatives from communities of color, thereby increasing the social and cultural perspectives of existing institutions, civic organizations, and the political arena, all of which are critical to the community’s success.
  • Make Worcester a welcoming and inclusive community with a sense of connection, pride, and stewardship among people of all backgrounds, thus encouraging positive associations that maintain and honor cultural identity.
  • Establish and strive for aggressive diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) goals.
  • Create opportunities for Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian, and other people of color to be heard and seen through cultural and artistic mediums.
  • Listen to perspectives and experiences which differ from our own, and challenge ourselves to not just promote them to others, but to also reflect upon them ourselves.
  • Educate ourselves as to white privilege, Anti-Racism, and how we can address systemic racism to build inclusivity in all creative and cultural endeavors.
  • Build community through listening, partnering, empowering and acting on creating equity for all.

In these ways, the Worcester Cultural Coalition commits to addressing racial and systemic injustices, and renews its commitment to arts and cultural expression for all. Arts and culture are not just nice, but necessary to a Worcester which can thrive and evolve into a truly creative, equitable community.

Sincerely,

Erin Williams, Executive Director

Tracy Kraus, President of the Board