CulturalDC to host Reclamation Project racial-equity residency at Source Theatre

Inspired by We See You, White American Theater, an artistic mission to reclaim theatrical space for marginalized communities.

The Reclamation Project—an idea inspired by We See You, White American Theater, “Hot button issues for Black theater: A roundtable on revolution,” and “Gender Diverse Black Theatre Leadership Roundtable”—will bring its transformative racial-equity work to DC with a residency at Source Theatre hosted by CulturalDC. The project seeks to address past harm in theatrical institutions, give space for healing in this moment, and imagine a path forward by centering the voices and needs of Black artists, Indigenous artists, artists of color, LGBTQIA+ artists, and disabled artists.

Over five days, October 6 to 10, 2020, the Reclamation Project aims to reclaim space at Source for these marginalized communities so they can re-enter these spaces in power and fullness.

The Reclamation Project core artists: Dylan Arredondo, Agyeiwaa Asante, Florence Babatunde, Katie Ciszek, Ian Anthony Coleman, Sabina Jafri, Vanessa Losada, Christopher Michael Richardson, Natalie Ann Valentine.

Facilitator Dylan Arredondo explained the intentional openness and open-endedness of the residency: “If you are a Black artist, Indigenous artist, artist of color, LGBTQIA+ artist, and/or disabled artist who has worked for any institution that has inhabited this building, we invite you into this Residency, including, but not limited to, CulturalDC, Constellation Theatre Company, The InSeries, Washington Improv Theater, and Source Festival.

“For this residency, you decide what our focus is! We can already confirm that topics of tokenism, exoticization, Orientalism, appropriation, the historic roots of Opera in appropriative practices, and questions of who has the right to tell what story, have been expressed as issues which community members feel need to be worked through in this residency in order to feel safe returning to this building.”

The Project conducted a previous residency at Olney Theatre Center, which “took the shape of a series of rituals engaging with the unspoken history of the land and a literal planting of the seeds of our written testimonies around the campus,” Arredondo said. An upcoming residency at Round House Theatre October 19 to 23 will be “a weeklong celebration of Black joy and Black glamour” and include recordings of work by and for Black artists in order “to combat canonical erasure of the Black experience” from the classical American stage.

Artists who wish to participate in person in the space at Source, even if for a few days, a single day, or a few hours, are urged to fill out this Doodle poll. A maximum of eight artists will be allowed in the space at any given moment, masks will be required at all times indoors, and social distancing guidelines will be adhered to. Cultural DC’s Source Theatre is located at 1835 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. For more information email thereclamationproject.info@gmail.com.

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