Courtesy of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Courtesy of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Woolly Mammoth’s nationally acclaimed Connectivity department was founded in 2009 to link Woolly’s artistic mission with its social and political mission to both respond to and initiate social change through theater. As the nation grapples with profound racial unrest as a result of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery among countless others, in addition to a global health crisis that is disproportionately affecting Black and Indigenous people in the US, Woolly Mammoth commits to take measurable actions toward racial justice and uphold our responsibility to serve our community. A vital part of this commitment is deepening our existing relationships with the people of DC, and in particular communities of color, through Connectivity partnerships that center collaboration, coalition-building, and visioning towards collective liberation.

Beginning with the 2020-2021 season, Connectivity will launch a Core Partner Program, operating alongside its continued show-specific programming designed to enhance the conversation around Woolly’s plays. With an emphasis on long-term mutually beneficial relationships, the Core Partner Program is grounded in equitable exchange with organizations in the DC area that largely serve communities of color and/or share a commitment to inclusion, anti-racism, social justice, and the power of art as a tool for advancing those values. These partnerships are also opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector learning, growing our ties within Washington DC’s arts, cultural, and civic life.  Woolly Mammoth’s inaugural core partners are organizations with whom we have a history of collaboration, and represent very important relationships to us; they include Howard University’s College of Fine Arts, N-Street Village, The Theatre Lab, The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), and Spit Dat.

Woolly Mammoth’s Connectivity Director, Kristen Jackson, says “The Core Partner Program is a natural outgrowth of Woolly’s mission to deeply engage with our world, and desire to practice radical inclusion. Stemming from the impulse to be of service and honor community needs, the Core Partner program represents one of the many ways Woolly Mammoth can be part of the solution for how we heal in the midst of this collective community trauma.”

“As we look to the future at the kind of civic institution that we want Woolly to be, we know Connectivity is at the center of that vision. For over ten years, Connectivity has been innovating hyper-local ways for Woolly Mammoth to engage, nourish, bolster, and knit our community together. Under Kristen Jackson’s steadfast and compassionate leadership, we aim to walk this path with intentionality, openness, and reciprocity to become even more attuned to the people of DC and what they desire from a cultural organization like Woolly Mammoth.”  – Maria Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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