Letter from the Artistic Director October 30, 2020

A Special Performance by Sarah and Lou Bellamy: The Light and Water in Our Eyes

Greetings Dear Community,

As we near Election Day, I can’t help but reflect on what’s happened since the last national election. There has been so much tumult, so much pain. We’ve been through more uncertainty and chaos than many of us can remember in our lifetimes. Though we may be weary, I hope we haven’t lost our ability to dream.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, it will take time to sort out the upheaval we’ve experienced. The pandemic has had a harrowing impact on our lives, our communities, our businesses, and our sense of social cohesion. It may take years to recover what has been broken as racial hatred and fear has been rekindled. Our level of trust in leadership and democratic processes will need to be restored. There is a lot of work to do and unfortunately none of it can be rushed—it will all happen according to its own cadence and in response to meaningful and transparent efforts to do better.

It reminds me why we make art—it’s the same reason we vote: we are trying to build the world that we want, each of us playing a part in the national narrative. So many of us want a world that is more compassionate, where we see and value difference, a world in which we confront the darkest parts of our past so that we can live into a free and vitalized future. Making art and voting are aspirational. We send our wishes out into the world and hope that others will catch them, count them, and that together they will ring a resounding, clarifying bell that better days are ahead.

I’m sure that many of you have already voted and I hope that by casting your ballot you found a sense of optimism for our future. At Penumbra you should know that we are still doing what we can to build worlds, even if it’s not onstage. Have a look at some of our efforts to increase voter turnout in partnership with Carmichael Lynch.

And, when you have a quiet moment, take a look at the video below “The Light and Water in Our Eyes.” Remember why we make art. Remember why we vote.

Don’t lose hope.

With abiding love,