Where We Stand
WHERE WE STAND
Atlanta Ballet is heartbroken and outraged by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the long list of others who have been victims of the racial violence that continues to be a part of our society.
We stand in solidarity with and support of the Black community. To the Black dancers, artists, employees, supporters, and CDE students and families that help make up our incredible Atlanta Ballet family – we want you to know that you are seen, you are heard, and you are valued.
We are dedicated to taking action beyond a statement of solidarity, and committing wholeheartedly to bringing about authentic and lasting change to our organization and our art form – both of which have histories of being ethnically diverse, but predominantly White.
We recognize that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone in our extended Atlanta Ballet family feels included, encouraged and valued. We are committed to listening to and learning from our internal and external communities, while creating and following through with actionable items that will help pave the way to a company that better reflects the community it serves.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
Our commitment to addressing inequities and promoting greater diversity and inclusion at Atlanta Ballet is manifest in several foundational steps we have taken, including:
- Atlanta Ballet is a participant in a multi-lateral, national program called The Equity Project – a collaborative effort involving 20 major ballet companies committed to collectively increasing the presence of Blacks in Ballet.
- Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s community-focused programming works to bridge the gap between education and employment for professional dancers of color.
- Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s “Decade 2 Dance” initiative offers young dancers of color the training, mentorship and academic support required to sustain a professional dancer’s decade-long journey to success.
- Atlanta Ballet aims to pursue artistic programming that resonates with the diverse communities of Atlanta by commissioning choreographers, designers and artists who represent different backgrounds and dance styles.
- Atlanta Ballet also has a goal to frequently collaborate with other Atlanta-based artists and organizations, bringing other talents, voices and perspectives to the stage.
- Atlanta Ballet and its Centre for Dance Education are hosting and attending auditions for the professional and training companies on a local, national and international level.
- Atlanta Ballet formed its first Transformation Team – a committee made up of representatives from all sectors of the organization with a mission to plan and monitor diversity and inclusion initiatives within the company.
- Atlanta Ballet commissioned a diversity and inclusion assessment to study Atlanta Ballet’s past policies and practices and make specific recommendations with respect to D&I efforts
- Atlanta Ballet staff and artists are required to participate in diversity training led by certified professionals, and such training is also provided for all members of Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees.
- Atlanta Ballet will more frequently host “Town Hall” meetings to include full staff, full- and part-time faculty, and artists.
- All open positions will be posted in such a way to encourage a diverse applicant pool.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We are all in this together, and we encourage you to join us in making a difference by exploring some of the resources below that offer ways to learn, grow and take action.
- Sign the petition demanding that pointe shoe companies provide shade options for women of color.
- Support and follow The International Association of Blacks in Dance on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin, and assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. Visit the website.
- Support and follow Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet on Instagram. Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet) is a non-profit organization that works to preserve, present and promote the contributions of Blacks in Ballet internationally. Visit the website.
- Support and follow Black Art Futures Fund on Instagram. Black Art Futures Fund (BAFF) is a collective of emerging philanthropists promoting the elevation and preservation of Black arts & culture. Visit the website.
- Support and follow Blacks In Ballet on Instagram. Founded by Ingrid Silva, Ruan Galdino and Fábio Mariano, Blacks in Ballet highlights Black Ballet dancers around the world.
- View a timeline of black representation in ballet from MoBBallet.
- Read The History of African-American Casting in Ballet by Jessica Jacolbe.
- Listen to a lecture by Theresa Ruth Howard – “Dark Muse: Balanchine and Blackness”
- Read I Just Want to Get My Groove On: An African American Experience with Race, Racism, and the White Aesthetic in Dance by Tracey Owens Patton, Ph.D.
- Read 31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance.
- Listen to How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race NPR's Michel Martin talks with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, about how to talk with white kids about racially charged events.
- Explore more resources for talking to your children about race.
- Brown Girls Do Ballet® is a division of Brown Girls Do®, Inc, a registered 501(c)3 committed to promoting diversity in the arts by providing annual scholarships, a mentor network, and community programs to empower young girls. Donate on their website.
- Donate 2 Dance has a mission of collecting gently worn dance shoes, costumes and dancewear to donate to dance schools in need across the country. Donate on their website.
- The IABD Emergency Fund helps The International Association of Blacks in Dance helps (IABD) provide limited and short-term assistance through its fund to Artists, related Dance personnel and Dance organizations, who are able to demonstrate financial need. Donate on their website.
- Explore Pointe Magazine’s list of other ways to support the Black dance community.