Stories

A Bigger, Better Community

Amanda Gorman, our nation’s first Youth National Poet Laureate, spoke truth in poetry on the inaugural stage when she offered up her immense wisdom. At 22 years old, Amanda is yet another young person who will lead among and beyond her peers to create change for the better. In her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” she calls to mind the troubled past of our nation while looking forward with boldness, reminding us that no matter how tough things might be, there is much to celebrate.

Looking back, and looking inwards, is exactly what we’re doing at New 42. Though we’ve been working on our internal Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts for a few years, this past summer’s protests against police violence toward Black and Brown Americans have spurred us to focus more on how we can dismantle oppressive structures within our nonprofit. New 42 Board and Staff are taking a close look at our organizational culture to identify and address systemic racism and prejudice, how we as individuals have participated or been complicit in these harmful practices, and what needs to change. One of the early outcomes of this work is to commit the current and future seasons of New Victory LabWorks, our new work development program, to serving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) performing artists. Believing we are better when we work together, New 42’s anti-racism work is uniquely communal. Our plan to move the work forward involves everyone in the organization participating in working groups toward a more radically inclusive professional community. You can read our organizational progress report here.

New Victory audiences have expanded as we embrace our family of international artists and help kids discover global cultures, art forms and human experiences through New Victory Arts Break. This series of free arts curriculum has garnered over 750,000 national and international online views through our website. It has captured even more eyes on television where Arts Break currently airs on WNET’s “Let’s Learn,” a daily broadcast series made in partnership with the NYC Department of Education to address equitable access to education during the pandemic.

New 42’s efforts toward a more accessible education are realized in new ways as well. This year, New Victory Education is completely free for public schools in New York City. Through the generosity of our funders and individual donors, we hope to fully underwrite New Victory’s extensive education programs so that our easy-to-implement resources are available to more teachers and students at no cost to school communities. We are pleased to now extend education offerings to caregivers, and I hope you’ll join us as we bring more performing arts programs to our learning spaces.

For our growing community, we will have much to celebrate in the year ahead when we explore New York City’s great outdoors to bring live performing arts to you. In the meantime, we wish you well with a promise: we will see you again, soon!

Stay healthy and be well,
Russell Granet

Russell Granet
New 42 President & CEO

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