BAX Accountability and Action
  • Statement of accountability and action from BAX
  • Pride and Black queer and trans resistance
  • BAX Local and Civic Engagement
  • BAX Response Team/Refuge and Recharge
  • Resources (more on the BAX website)
Black Lives Matter.

As an organization, and as a group of staff and faculty, artists and workers, we recognize the deep hurt, grief, and pain happening right now as a direct result of historical and ongoing anti-blackness and racism manifest in murder, violences, actions, words, and silencings.

With action in mind and heart, and as an organization with a core commitment to social justice, we are and will continue to confront and dismantle, as stated in the BAX mission statemen t , “We intentionally and purposefully support marginalized individuals and groups of all ages, abilities, races, sexual orientations, genders, gender expressions, and immigration statuses. All our constituents join an organization whose staff and board is actively engaged in challenging the manifestations of whiteness, able-bodiedness, and privilege as part of our ongoing anti-racist efforts and our other anti-oppression, pro-inclusion work.”

As we as staff and faculty take action, listen, and work toward justice, we encourage all members of BAX communities to find ways to do the same. Throughout this message, and further toward the bottom, there are numerous resources of information, action steps, healing, and justice for youth and adults.

Thank you for being in community with BAX as we renew our commitment to deeply undoing racism and anti-blackness institutionally, artistically, and personally, and the ways in which white supremacy manifests within our walls and beyond. We simultaneously recommit to carving and honoring space and time for Black life and liberation. 

Enclosed is a list of direct actions that we are taking immediately in solidarity and in the long-term as part of BAX’s ongoing antiracist efforts, which are central to the organization’s mission. These include direct actions, a developing BAX Response Team in coordination with the call to Open Your Lobby, partner alliance with other organizations (such as Irondale Theater ) towards neighborhood and protest relief efforts, fundraising efforts to QTBIPOC-led organizations, and a regularly updated antiracist resources (readings, video, trainings, etc.) web page for families, youth, and artists.

In Solidarity,
George Emilio Sanchez
Chair of the Board
Vanessa Adato
Interim Executive Director
Lucia Scheckner
Director of Education and Community Engagement
Sara Roer
Operations Manager
Kelindah Schuster
Technical Director
Ashley Renee Thaxton-Stevenson
Education Manager
Sanae Galligan
Youth Education Marketing Manager
David Sierra
Artist Services Marketing Manager
Aviya Hernstadt
Education Assistant
Visit this webpage to view individual staff members’ personal commitments to our anti-racist, pro-incusion work.   
Pride was a protest. Pride was a riot. Pride was an act of abolition.

June is LGBTQIA Pride month, a celebration and extension of the 1969 Stonewall riots: a powerful moment in ongoing battles against the policing of QTBIPOC (Queer and/or Trans, Black, indigenous people of color). Every Pride we remember Marsha P. Johnson, a Black Trans woman, Sylvia Rivera, a Latina Trans Woman, and many other Black and non-black people of color queer and trans street revolutionaries. Their actions at and around Stonewall amplified movements for queer liberation.

June 19 is Juneteenth, which marks the anniversary of the proclamation of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865, the final state to abolish slavery in the US. Since then, Juneteenth has been commemorated by Black communities as a refusal of the brutalities of slavery, a celebration of Black life, and a call to liberatory futures. 

This month and always we participate in Pride as disruption to, and rejection of, injustice. We recognize Pride as the time of protests and riots it was, while also remembering that QTBIPOC are the thought, action, and vision leaders of these movements. Our participation means taking action to dismantle systems that continue to harm and murder Black people, and working to undo racism interpersonally and structurally. 

This Pride, this Juneteenth, and in the ongoing fight against White Supremacy, we affirm and support Black-led, antiracist, queer- and trans-centered action and organizing. 

BAX—an organization founded in queerness that has historically supported artists from many richly diverse backgrounds—is also culpable in maintaining white supremacy, including by way of financial and administrative structures that harm black people. It is on the white and non-black staff, board, faculty, and community members to reflect, redistribute, and take action to dismantle White Supremacy within our walls and in arts communities more broadly. 

In continuing to undo racism and move toward justice and accountability, this June's BAX fundraising campaigns are suspended as we invest our time and resources in taking action to defend Black lives. Funds raised during our End of Year Celebration of student work (taking place on Saturday, June 13 at 6:30pm) will be donated to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts Collective and to BAX AIR Nia Witherspoon’s recently initiated JEAN MOYE “DARK” FUND FOR BLACK WOMEN/FEMMES + TGNC ARTISTS . Students have been invited to include responses to the creative prompt How can we each use art to affirm and celebrate that Black Lives Matter?

Pride was a protest. Pride was a riot. Pride was an act of abolition.
BAX Local Civic Engagement

  • We call on all our City Officials to ensure that in the FY2021 budget, New York City DIVESTS from the NYPD. We call to them REINVEST into Service Organizations, Arts and Cultural Institutions, Youth and Family Services that serve BIPOC communities. View the proposed FY 2021 budget HERE. As part of this effort, BAX staff will be submitting a testimony during the June 9, 2020 "Oversight: DCLA, COVID-19 and Cultural Organizations in New York City.”

  • We call on our City Councilmembers NOT to vote yes on a budget if it does not include budgetary cuts to the NYPD. We thank Councilmembers Menchaca and Lander for their strong voices and leadership on this issue. #NYCBudgetJustice

  • We call on our City Councilmembers to support the work of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in his POLICE REFORM PROPOSALS, including the REPEAL of Section 50-A of the New York State Civil Rights Law to provide greater transparency and accountability on police misconduct statewide.
  • We call on the Office of the Mayor to Condemn the Violence perpetrated by the NYPD against protesters in our city, and to ensure that all officers found guilty of using excessive force during these protests be fired and prosecuted.
BAX Response Team

BAX has decided to direct emergency funding received from the Wallace Foundation to volunteer and supply support for Irondale Theater/South Oxford space as they open their doors as a protester refuge and recharge station. BAX is also using these funds towards creating first aid supply kits and providing water and sustenance snacks for distribution from the BAX Building. We hope to be in action as early as Saturday 6/6 and will use our social media channels to update access hours. We are also developing a plan to safely open more of our space in support of this and/or future efforts. 

If you are interested in volunteering in the BAX Building toward these efforts, please get in touch with us at .