June 4, 2020

Dear NEMPAC Community, Friends, and Families,

The heartbreaking events of the past few weeks have shaken us at NEMPAC as they have our neighborhoods, city, state, and country. We want to express our shared heartbreak and outrage at the continued racism that pervades our world and has shown its stark ugliness in the deaths of George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, and Ahmaud Arbery and the repugnant actions of Amy Cooper…and countless others.

NEMPAC is all about building community through art. If communities are groups of people who come together, know each other, support each other, and respect each other in all of our diversity, art is the medium people rely on to express their personal experiences and tell their stories in a way that others can hear and in a way that evokes empathy from the viewers. We will continue to foster the artistic voices of our students so that they can unite, enrich, and lift up our community both now and as they develop into the leaders and artists of tomorrow.

Now is a time for us to self-reflect, and it is also a time for us to act. We at NEMPAC are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we will do better and more to demonstrate our values in all we do. We will do our part to fulfill the promise of America that unalienable rights belong to all Americans, and we will work towards the future Dr. King so eloquently described where people will “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Here are the things we are committed to working on to demonstrate our values in all we do and to combat racism:

  • We will continue to support our staff, artists, and faculty in taking action that reflect the values of the NEMPAC Organization.
  • We will continue to empower all through the arts, and share the belief that we are all musicians and performers.
  • We will reach out to arts organizations in other communities to partner with them so as to expand our joint communities into a broader union of artists of all colors and races.
  • We will work to deepen and expand our school partnerships, sustaining and increasing our connections with students who are Black, White, People of Color, and influencing their lives through high-quality, music education and artistic experiences.
  • We will continue to amplify the voices of black artists in our creative work and performance projects and programs.
  • We will continue to listen to the needs of the neighborhoods we serve, and develop innovative arts programming to support social change.
  • We will deepen our relationships with community centers, especially in the more neighborhoods we serve including Charlestown.
  • We will continue to support community events where we bring members of the neighborhoods in which we serve, together.
  • We will increase the conversations had amongst our staff, faculty, and board leadership on how we can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our program and City of Boston through the arts.
  • We will stay closely engaged with our elected officials, with a focus on urging them to support the voices of our black artists, students, and members of our community, and supporting a better future for all.

In the meantime, with greatest sorrow we stand and kneel with those who protest injustice, racism, and violence.

The NEMPAC Board of Directors
Board President, Dianne Royle
Vice Board President, Doug Bowen Flynn
Executive Director, Sherri Snow