To The TAPA Ensemble,
I am writing with the hope to be connected with each of you, if only for a moment, during this distant and difficult time in our history.
It has been hard for me to focus on TAPA work today, as I am obsessively revisiting the images from yesterday’s attack on our nation’s capital. It is impossible to forget the sight of violent rioters carrying the confederate flag and other hate symbols under the US Capitol Dome.
Coming on the heels of the historic runoff in Georgia, which saw the election of a Black Baptist pastor and a young Jewish journalist, the scenes from Washington DC were particularly troubling. And the response by law enforcement seems a stark reminder of our country’s persistent white supremacy and unequal treatment under the law.
If you are feeling unsettled right now, you are not alone. We weren’t built to face a violent insurrection, on top of a global pandemic, on top of persistent racial injustices. We are living through a time of instability that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s scary.
We have experienced and witnessed so much suffering this last year. What has helped me persist are those around me who persist and fight for justice: the record number of people voting, those who speak truth to power, communities fighting for equity and against police brutality, those like Stacy Abrams who give their all to right the wrongs of history. And I am inspired by every one of you, for putting in the work to show up, teach, learn, and make
art — day in and day out — in spite of the chaos of our world.
So, today, while I worry and fret, I also want to take the time to celebrate our TAPA Ensemble: we are strong, resilient, and we will come through this together. Be kind to yourself during these dark days, and reach out to your teachers, advisers, colleagues and friends in the TAPA community when you need help. Also, may we also lift up the voices of those who have come before, who have spoken forcefully against violence, racism, and tyranny, and join their chorus.