IRVINGTON, NY — In response to the racial reckoning happening in industries nationwide, Irvington Theater hears from educators, activists, and creators of color about implementing change to create more inclusive, equitable, and diverse artistic spaces.
Among the program’s many featured innovators is Devanand Janki, director-choreographer, Broadway actor, and Artistic Director of Live & In Color; Viola Ratcliffe, a Birmingham, Alabama-based art historian and Program Manager of Bib & Tucker Sew-Op; Samantha Rei, activist and Project Runway fashion designer; New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; and Bobby Rivers, beloved host, television personality, and entertainment reporter who, as his blog puts it, “interviewed Paul McCartney in London, had a cocktail with Lucille Ball in her home… [and] worked with Whoopi Goldberg.”
In her work at Bib & Tucker, Ratcliffe teaches sewing to promote empowerment, education, and economic opportunity: “There are so many phenomenal artists right in our back yard… they may not always have the same exposure or recognition, but their work is no less valuable… especially when artists are really involved in what’s going on in their communities and they’re using their art as a way to bring awareness to issues.”
Through a series of thoughtful (and at times incredibly personal) video segments, Inspiring Inclusion in the Arts will center ideas, perspectives, and voices that have been historically marginalized. The event will cover a range of timely topics including the responsibility of artists, the importance of investing in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and the power of representation.
“Growing up Black and gay, I never imagined someone like me could run for Congress, let alone win,” says Mondaire Jones, the Democratic candidate running to represent New York’s 17th congressional district who will be among those featured in this streaming event. “That’s because I never saw someone like myself in the halls of power.”
Inspiring Inclusion in the Arts will stream at 7:30pm on Monday, November 2 as part of In Our Own Words, Irvington Theater’s series that brings issues of social justice center stage through art and conversation. Purchase your ticket ($12 per household) to receive the viewing link and password at irvingtontheater.com/irvingtonanywhere.
Irvington Theater is home to a diverse range of innovative programming that entertains, enlightens, and inspires, establishing itself over its 118-year history as the cultural heart of the Rivertowns. The theater continues its tradition with unprecedented reach with “Irvington Anywhere,” their entirely virtual fall season of short films, lively concerts, and classic celebrations. Irvington Anywhere is made possible thanks to the generous support of Eric Bernstein of Compass, Dobbs Ferry.