FEAST: A Performance Series
Statement of Accountability
FEAST: A Performance Series states unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.
However, it is not enough to just state that. FEAST is built on the principles of artistic advocacy and community building, but in our four years we have been shamefully remiss in naming and activating anti-racism as essential to this work. FEAST has not been actively anti-racist as an organization. We are changing that now.
FEAST is ceasing production on the remainder of our SNACKTIME series and will shift our focus for the remainder of our fourth season. We acknowledge that the majority of our community - audience and artist, on social media and physically present at our shows - are white people. We will be using FEAST's digital spaces in the next two months to call our white community members in for active learning, while emphasizing reparations to Black organizations and individuals. The specifics of this programming are in the works, and we will not be making announcements of these or any other plans without a) consulting with the Black and POC members of our community to ensure we are centering their voices and needs in our actions, and b) paying them for those consultations.
In addition, FEAST is a series created, curated, produced, and run by two white artists. We, Alex Randrup and Conrad Kluck, have not done enough personal work to date in anti-racism, and have therefore been complicit individuals in the racist systems of this country, this city, and the performance community. We have made micro and macro choices throughout the four years of this series - some that we could not even identify now due to our lack of racial justice education - that have prioritized whiteness, white comfort, and white art, and that have protected the racist infrastructure of the performance art world. We are changing that now.
We will be doing significant personal work to: address our complicity and inherent racism as white American artists with a platform and the responsibility to use it to dismantle racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, and ableism; to actively defend Black people in the fight to demolish white supremacy; to create systems of accountability in which we as individuals, and FEAST as an organization, are checked to ensure the work being done embodies the principles of racial justice; and to engage in a daily commitment to active, authentic allyship. At the end of our fourth season FEAST will go on hiatus so that we can go deeper into our personal anti-racism work, and to ensure that when, if, and how FEAST returns, it will be a fundamentally anti-racist community and arts advocacy organization.
It is important to acknowledge also: our ability to take our time in making this statement is an extension of our immense white privilege, and our actions up to and including this statement still centered white supremacist values including but not limited to holding perfection over progress. We have let our community down in irreparable ways by not having been doing this work already, and by not speaking up sooner than now. The lateness of this statement is shameful. It has been 11 days since police officers murdered George Floyd. Today was his memorial. His life mattered. We will each be making a personal donation of $110 to the Black Visions Collective in George's name today. We do not do this with the assumption or expectation that it relieves us of any of this shame, but as a promise that we commit to do better, starting today.
Black Lives Matter.
With humility and commitment,
Alex Randrup and Conrad Kluck