Young Audiences Arts for Learning grieves the heartbreaking loss of life this month. We grieve for the ten Black elders and community members lost in the racist attack in Buffalo, and we grieve for the children and teachers massacred in Uvalde. We grieve that another town has been burned into our collective memory of mass shooting tragedies. We grieve to hear the same politicians' calls to action that are only met by further inaction. We grieve to hear defense of the indefensible: of so-called replacement theory, of the untouchable gun lobby. We stand with the families who have lost their loved ones in their anguish and in their outrage.
We know well the power of the arts to articulate what can't easily be spoken, to create the space where healing can begin, and to galvanize us into taking action. We share the words poet Amanda Gorman wrote about yesterday's events:
Schools scared to death.
The truth is, one education under desks,
Stooped low from bullets;
That plunge when we ask
Where our children
It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—it’s inhumanity.
The truth is, one nation under guns.
What might we be if only we tried.
What might we become if only we’d listen.
Young Audiences has embarked on a five-year project centering healing-centered and student-empowering practices for the young people we serve. Our students are experiencing enough tragedy without having to fear and mourn preventable gun violence. We commit to standing up, speaking out, and not giving in to hopelessness. We commit to taking each aching and hopeful step toward what we might be.