Dear friend of Rehearsal for Life,

Today — and, indeed, 2020 as a whole — looks and feels enormously different from what most of us would have expected at this time last year. Yet this time of change has also been the inspiration for innovation. We innovate because we must — as artists, activists and educators.

This year, our Urban Improv ensemble pioneered a whole new virtual learning model to keep our remote students connected. Our six Freelance Players Troupes also remained united virtually, premiering twelve new video productions over the course of 2020. Our Re: Action Assemblies shifted online, and the 2021 Youth Unscripted cohort transformed community circles into lively conversations and a place for artistry beginning in November. 

Through it all, Rehearsal for Life has converted virtual platforms into creative spaces, incorporating interactive apps and employing videography as means to construct virtual stages. We have found light in each other and in the work that we do. 
Hear from teaching artists IJ and Holly about why they love the work they do with Urban Improv.
What our students have demonstrated for us is the power of resilience. They inspire us. This time has shown us that when one centers youth voice, young people do more than survive — they thrive. This time also has forced us, as adults, to examine the ways in which we engage with others: to re-examine our practices, invest in new resources and recommit to equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism with new energy that informs the art we create collaboratively. This moment will allow us all to emerge as a stronger community. 

We’re grateful to be here with you today. We’re grateful to have you as part of our community. And we’re grateful to all our partners for helping us to continue to provide learning, opportunity and joy to our students. Today perhaps more than ever in our lifetimes, joy is an invaluable gift.
Hear from a Freelance family about the joy of the arts, community and fun — even during the pandemic.
As you make plans for your end-of-year giving, please consider Rehearsal for Life and all we have given — and will continue to give — our community of educators, families and young people.

May your holiday season be filled with joy, hope and light. 

paz,

The Rehearsal for Life team
From Insight to Action
As our nation shifts into new leadership and we continue to seek ways to undo centuries of injustice, Rehearsal for Life is reminded of John Lewis' final call to action. In his posthumously-published essay, "Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation," he notes:

"Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it."

Community, like democracy, is not only a concept, but an act. It requires action, commitment and holding ourselves accountable for the welfare of all. As we connect with others this holiday season, may Lewis' words be the bridge we build across our relationships that takes us into a new year and thinew chapter for our country. It is on us. May our legacy become what Lewis tasked to all of us in his final words: 

"When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide."
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