Dear Friends of Perkins,
If this note seems delayed, please accept our apologies as Perkins has carefully considered the appropriate words to communicate during this challenging, and heart-breaking time in our communities. The profound sense of loss is palpable and as we seek ways to understand, communicate, comfort, and support our colleagues, friends, neighbors, and nation, we take pause.
In 1965, the Perkins/D’Olier Family gifted the Perkins property in Moorestown to the community with the sole intent of providing a cultural safe space to promote and nurture a loving community. As a Quaker family, the legacy of their fundamental principle of equity for all, has been the guiding tenet, the core value, upon which Perkins Center for the Arts was founded in 1977.
Perkins Center for the Arts is a 43-year-old institution that has been a devoted platform for the work of dismantling systemic racism and inequities in our community. Perkins deliberately and mindfully considers accessibility through long term relationships that have been developed throughout our communities. Perkins’ daily work, centered in equity and accessibility, will continue as our communities contribute to and help guide the Center’s decision making, training, programming, and outreach.
Today, in 2020 and beyond, Perkins can and must do more. Perkins Center for the Arts denounces racism, racial injustice and all forms of violence, discrimination, and bigotry. Perkins is committed to reexamining its own efforts, engagements, strategies, and initiatives. Perkins is dedicated to unifying with all who challenge violence and oppression while amplifying the voices of the artists, educators, community organizations, and social agencies striving for systemic change. Perkins will continue to examine its organizational structure through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion and will raise its voice in conjunction with and on behalf of our colleagues, friends, and community members of color.
Perkins values the contribution of every member of our communities. The arts connect all of us to one another, to our individual and collective histories, and to our future. Perkins is committed to continuing to provide a cultural safe space that promotes inquiry and dialogue with and through the artists and the art forms presented in our spaces. Perkins’ decisions will be guided by the organization asking itself questions like: “What real efforts are we making?” “How are we listening to and involving communities?” “How does Perkins approach equity issues?”
Perkins deeply loves the communities in which we work and live. Perkins is committed to providing the healing qualities of the arts to our communities as we navigate through times of challenge and change. Perkins invites our members, students, parents, faculty, patrons, and visitors to join the work of uniting individuals and communities through the transformative and healing properties of the arts. .