On Tuesday, June 2, the Kennedy Center went dark to show solidarity with the nationwide movement currently raging over the apparent murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officers.
The Kennedy Center released a powerful video of the dimming of the lights, featuring a compelling voice-over by Kennedy Center Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact, Marc Bamuthi Joseph. A statement from the center reads as follows:
We take a stand for George Floyd and for so many others who have lost their lives as a result of racial violence and bigotry.
Dimming the lights is a symbol. It is not the solution.
Ours is an expression of America’s grief and our solidarity with our Black audiences, artists, colleagues, and community.
Black lives matter. Black voices matter. Black culture matters. Black stories matter. We pledge that more of them will be heard on the stages of the nation’s cultural center, as we continue in our ongoing effort to reflect the entire nation through the performing arts and within our organization.
We know we can do better—through the art we present on our stages and by ensuring that the Center is always a home for critical conversations about race and discrimination. We are preparing strategies to be in greater service of Black artists, audiences, and communities. We will be sharing those initiatives in the coming weeks and hold ourselves accountable to all of you.
The Kennedy Center will remain dark for 9 days, one day for every minute George Floyd was on the ground.
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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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