Our mission is to provide a platform for women, trans, and gender non-conforming musical theatre book writers, composers, and lyricists to share their work, so that our industry more accurately reflects all perspectives, stories, and experiences. To be a cis women-led organization in the musical theater industry is a radical act to begin with, but that is just the start. It is of the utmost importance to The Sappho Project to expand in a way that highlights the stories of trans and gender non-conforming artists as well as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.
These steps are a part of our founding goals:
Build a board of individuals who are deeply in alignment with the mission to bring gender equity to musical theater.
Engage in bias trainings - starting specifically with Ericka Hart’s Gender 101 and Racial and Social Justice 101 Webinars.
Prioritize highlighting and hiring BIPOC artists and professionals.
Fully compensate every collaborator for their work.
Create accountable anti-racist work spaces.
Invest in stories and artists who tell stories that have the potential to dismantle oppressive ideas and ideologies.
Revel in the joy of profound musical theater.
Prioritize working as a community to harness the power of the collective over prioritizing individual ideas.
The world of musical theater cannot change unless we question the impact of every decision we make. These commitments are a living document, and through rigorous, critical, and empathetic reflection, we will continue to learn as we grow, and act as we are able. We invite members of our community to reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to keep the conversation going.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Trans Lives Matter.
At The Sappho Project, we stand in solidarity with all those fighting for justice for the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, and countless others. We grieve for all the black and brown lives lost due to the violent, systemic, state sanctioned racism and white supremacy.
We move forward with a strong commitment to building an anti-racist organization.
It is vital to acknowledge that the theatre industry and musical theatre art form were built within systems that privileged white cis male voices, and continue to uphold them. They were created by white people for white audiences. Beyond that, historically and currently, the theatre does so by taking from black voices and leaving those voices out of the narrative. Our art form exists because of the misappropriation of black culture.
It is not the job of the black and brown members of our community to educate white folks on this history that disproportionately affects BIPOC and benefits white folks.
We acknowledge our platform within this system and commit to do better to strive towards being an antiracist organization in the way we function internally and the work we develop by taking the following actions:
Listening to black folks, Indigenous folks, and people of color within our organization and communities.
Holding ourselves and our community accountable as we move forward by continuously educating ourselves and questioning the systems that we operate within and thereby choose to perpetuate.
Continuing to seek ways to dismantle oppressive structures that prioritize white cis male voices, specifically in what work gets the space to be developed and produced.
Commiting to anti-racism training internally.
Developing work by BIPOC artists.
Bringing visibility to the BIPOC artists fighting for justice and creating work that needs to be seen.
In order to seek liberation for any one group, we must seek liberation for all.
We are sharing a link to a list of Black theatre companies in America created by “Black Theatre Matters” to highlight these organizations doing the work to amplify Black voices. Support your local black theatre companies.
Where To Donate:
Petitions To Sign:
Where to Find Action Steps and Antiracism Resources:
Black art matters. Black lives matter. Black trans lives matter.
We will not stay silent.
With Solidarity and Love,
The Sappho Project