Statement from Dean Kit Spicer

blue handprint with a painted anatomical heart in the palm

As this tumultuous and unpredictable quarter draws to a close, I reach out to you with some words of support and understanding. Many of us feel shaken by recent events, mounting pressures to continue our studies, and teaching under challenging conditions. We may be isolated from our networks of support – our families, our friends, our ensembles, our teachers and mentors.

Your pursuits and passions – art, performance, design – at their root are fueled by a desire to express the sometimes inexpressible; to share ineffable joys as well as sorrows; to dig into thoughts, feelings, and institutions to uncover our fears and our hopes. I applaud your dedication to this work, especially, during this difficult period, the most severe that many of us have experienced to date.

The disparities and inequities to communities of color that exist due to systemic racism across all sectors of American institutions, must be challenged and eradicated. I am committed to this effort.  I will work with students, staff, and faculty of color to ensure that they feel safe; to change practices and policies that create inequity; and to explore new approaches to systems that previously perpetuated inequity.

As a start, I will establish a College of Fine and Performing Arts Equity and Inclusion Task Force, composed of students, faculty, staff and community members, to insure that all voices within the College are heard. This task force will convene at the start of the fall quarter, 2020. 

In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to our students, faculty, and staff rising to the challenges before us in ways that strengthen our community and expand our understanding of ourselves and each other. The unique skills and gifts manifested in your work, your dedication and ingenuity, will create new paths forward that our world so urgently needs. I thank you.

Take care of yourselves and take care of each other.

Authored on

Jun 8, 2020 12:13pm