Welcome to The Talkback
I'm usually pretty bad at keeping consistent with a blog. At times I feel that I have so much yet so little to say. So, without judging myself, I'm making the attempt to get back into blogging. This blog will mostly act as a journal. It will be a way for me to express thoughts, ideas, and commentary that may be too much for the average Facebook post. I do hope that you'll continue to follow me and #catchdreams while I press on to this process. For starters, I am happy to announce the creation of the Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia, affectionately known as BTAP. After much racial strife taking place earlier this year from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more Black Americans, conversations began surrounding the history of racial violence against Black Americans. Institution's histories of this perpetuated racism were being called out. White American Theatre was not exempt from this direct address. The #WeSeeYouWAT campaign levied a litany of transgressions committed against BIPOC artists from the White American Theatre Institution. It was during this time a theatre friend of mine, Newton Buchanan, and I discussed creating a space for fellow Black theatre friends to gather and breathe. Rather than just talk about it, Newton took the initiative in create a small group chat for as many as we could fit. It was a space to vent, post funny content to bring laughter and joy and just alleviate the burden of sorrow as we battled not only a physical pandemic but also a long standing social pandemic.
A few short weeks later, Newton talked to me about forming a coalition to try and figure out how we should support Black theatre artists in this time. On the eve of Juneteenth, ten of us gathered on a Zoom call and thus would begin the Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia (BTAP). I've been politically minded since my college years and never have I thought my passions for equality would manifest into an organization like this. What started as an Instagram group, grew and developed into a non-profit entity that in its first month rolled out a $200 micro grant opportunity for Black theatre artists. It became an entity where its members meet biweekly to weekly to strategize and plan new opportunities for Black theatre artists. It became a family of like minded individuals striving to create a more equitable and just community for Black theatre artists of all disciplines. I couldn't be more proud to be a founding member. I hope that you will continue to follow me and #catchdreams as well as support BTAP and all of its future endeavors.