Nourishing Black Artists

“The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” — Toni Cade Bambara

We will continue to stage powerfully provocative plays that demand attention and move people heart-first into today’s most difficult issues. Penumbra’s acclaimed art will continue to inspire, helping us acknowledge historic trauma and celebrate ingenious resiliency. Future programming will include:

  • Classics from the black theatre canon
  • An annual festival of newly commissioned work
  • Panel discussions with artists
  • Thoughtfully curated galleries
  • Educational programs and more

Art is at the heart of this vision. More than a transactional exchange between artists and patrons, this vision intentionally blurs the lines between artists and audiences to foster shared vision and beloved community. Our creative expression and social practice is a way of being in the world, of rescuing and rehabilitating one another, of practicing civic engagement and of breaking toxic patterns and ways of relating. It is a way to build more compassionate and equitable communities.

The resiliency that artists intrinsically practice is at the heart of sustainable movement building. The risk involved in sharing something nascent is essential to innovation and ideation that will surface solutions to deeply entrenched issues. The act of coming together in sacred, intentional space for moving shared experiences is fundamental to individual and collective healing.

Bold, beautiful, life-affirming art will be generated to answer our community’s most pressing needs. We intend to restore, uplift, and empower black, indigenous, and people of color and to inspire and task our white allies with practical, vital action toward racial equity.