Monica White Ndounou
The CRAFT Institute, Inc.
Black Theatre Day, a day of solidarity and service, increases visibility of Black Theatres and encourages collaboration and support throughout the year
(Black PR Wire) For the 2nd annual Black Theatre Day (September 17) The International Black Theatre Summit (IBTS), convened by The CRAFT Institute, is partnering with WACO Theater Center, Project1Voice, Black Theatre Network, National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts, Black Theatre Association, The National Association of Black Theatre Building Owners, National Black Theatre Festival, Support Black Theatre and Walk Tall Girl Productions to increase visibility of Black theatres and encourage collaborations and support.
The International Black Theatre Summit launched the inaugural Black Theatre Day last year to recognize the 200th anniversary of the African Grove Theatre's opening night as the first known professional Black theatre company in the United States. This year, partnering organizations collaborate to promote the day of solidarity and service through a daylong social media campaign celebrating over 200 years of Black theatre including 21st century Black theatre institutions with independent Black theatre events taking place around the country.
The Black Theatre Day social media campaign is an open call to action to all Black theatre institutions, collaborators, and supporters, to collectively amplify the importance of Black theatre institutions in the U.S. and around the world. Individuals and organizations can support by sharing, reposting, and retweeting content of participating Black theatres and their followers while learning more about opportunities to collaborate and support Black theatres as well as donating $5 or 5 hours or more and inviting 5 people to support Black theatre institutions.
On September 17, 1821, the African Grove Theatre launched their first season in New York City. They produced multiple seasons including the first extant play by a Black American and launched the career of Ira Aldridge, a Black actor who toured Europe as the greatest Shakespearean tragedian of all times. As the heirs of this illustrious legacy, 21st century Black theatres in the U.S. are still working to build sustainable, institutional wealth.
“As incubators for Black talent on stage and screen, Black-led theatre institutions recognize the intrinsic value of Black people and stories,” said Dr. Monica White Ndounou, Founder and Executive Director of The CRAFT Institute, convener of The International Black Theatre Summit. “Black-led theatre institutions have historically served as a sanctuary, a safe space to develop skills and stories that reimagine and explore not only where we have been but also where we are and future possibilities. Black Theatre Day is a call to stand in solidarity by amplifying local and regional, Black-led theatre institutions and lending support through donations and service which can come in a variety of forms. We welcome everyone to recognize Black Theatre Day as an official, annual opportunity to celebrate Black Theatre throughout the United States and around the world."
The International Black Theatre Summit is one of six networks funded by The Black Seed Initiative.
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