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JAG Talks with Major Jackson, Felicia Swoope, and Desmond Peeples

Join Jarvis Green, producing artistic director at JAG Productions, as he leads a discussion with poet Major Jackson, choreographer Felicia Swoope, and writer Desmond Peeples about being Black culture bearers in Vermont during this time of protest and pandemic.

4 Comments

  1. Laura Di Piazza

    I really loved this discussion from beginning to end! Thank you Felicia, Major, Desmond and Jarvis for sharing the many resources, books/essays/music suggestions, self-care remedies, and the many wonderful ideas of how donors, producers and collaborators can show up for BIPOC artists and organizers.

    Reply
    • Ryan Newswanger

      So glad that you enjoyed it, Laura! And thanks for watching.

      Reply
  2. Jim Schley

    What an exciting and provocative conversation! Among the insights I’ve carried along from listening in are these: Felicia Swoope’s observation that relationships with artists of color need to be lifelong relationships, not merely “visiting artist” residencies. And commissions of new work are an important aspect of such long-term, generative relationships. Moreover, as several people concurred, it’s important for producers, hosting venues, and commissioners to see themselves as allowing partner artists to do the work they are most excited about, not just offering existing audiences a “diverse” experience or expecting the partner to “represent” their community in some way, with respect to culture, history, aesthetics, or subject matter. In addition, Major Jackson and Jarvis Green underscored that we need to approach partnerships with love and also imagination, and such co-ventures need to be mutually beneficial. I realized as I listened to this exhilarating session that we need to admit that it has taken /work/ (years of effort, along with neglect) to create a culture in northern New England that is mainly white and often generally inhospitable or overtly hostile to people with different backgrounds and cultures; and instead of lamenting that our communities “lack diversity,” as is not infrequently heard, we need to energetically stop doing the work of allowing our towns, companies, schools, and organizations be unwelcoming and instead begin in new ways to do the work that instead allows this to be an exciting and joyfully hospitable and even irresistible place for people of varied histories and passions to live and work.

    Reply
    • Ryan Newswanger

      Thanks for sharing your insights after a careful viewing of the video, Jim! We appreciate this summary and the challenges listed within it.

      Reply

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