The following letter was sent to our audience members, board members, funders, subscribers and community of artists.
Dear HERO supporters,
I wanted to reach out to touch base with you, our friends that have kept this company alive, during this time of intense pain in our country.
As you know, HERO is a company rooted in equity and inclusion. Our body of artists, with the exception of a few allies, consists mostly of actors of color and a large number of our artists are African American.
We are a social justice organization that, for the past 9 years, has worked hard to give voice to marginalized artists that need to be seen and heard. To tell stories of injustice on our stage, in hopes of making some change.
The mission behind HERO was never an imposed one. I was born in Newark, New Jersey to a Puerto Rican woman who came to America in search of a better life. Racism was a reality we dealt with on a daily basis. I grew up watching injustices happen within the Black and Latinx community I lived in.
Watching Black people be abused, bullied, murdered, and mistreated became a part of everyday living. I saw how some of my brothers and sisters, who had more visible Afro-Caribbean features were treated differently.
I knew I would dedicate my life to becoming an activist, because Black Lives Matter.
Our artists at Hero are tired and in pain. They’ve had to face so much with being part of an industry that has continuously failed them.
I myself can’t help but feel anger and deep sadness due to the lack of analysis and action from most of our non-profit theatre companies in this country. Legally it is our responsibility to be of service to communities. Yet most have historically ignored marginalized artists. To be frank, many have become rich off the backs of artists of color.
These organizations are now being called to action. Will they change? I hope so.
Friends, it is not as easy as spreading love or posting on social media. As Michelle Obama recently expressed beautifully, “It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”
Black lives matter. The murder of George Floyd is part of what seems like an endless series of police killings. Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade were also recently murdered. Black women and trans people are being killed. Lives are being erased.
Let’s stand up for justice, collectively. Let’s truly listen.
Hold organizations you patronize accountable for the work that needs to get done. If you can give monetarily to organizations supporting Black survival, please do.
One of our company members recently said, “People can’t let it just pass by and forget it the next day…this is the time for growth...”
Please let this be true. Thank you for believing in Hero Theatre. We believe in you.
Producing Artistic Director