Community Leaders Sign Letter in Support of Long Wharf Theatre’s Path Forward

May 6, 2022 Community Leaders

Since we announced our path forward back in February, we have heard from many community members and leaders who have shared in our excitement and wanted to get involved.

In an effort to center as many voices as possible throughout this process, we wanted to provide an opportunity for the community to share their support and enthusiasm through a public sign-on letter that was born out of the many conversations we had during our public town hall sessions over the past few months.

Today, we’re proud to share that letter and the initial group of individuals who have signed their names. Each of them are respected leaders in their field and we’re so grateful to have these fellow travelers on this historic journey with us at Long Wharf Theatre.

This new direction is about being more intentional, inclusive and collaborative in everything we do. We invite any and every one to add their names to this letter. If you’re interested in taking part, please email us at lwt@longwharf.org.

Dear People of Greater New Haven,

We are writing in enthusiastic support of our friends, colleagues and neighbors at Long Wharf Theatre, a beloved New Haven institution that has been a point of pride for our city and region for more than 57 years.

The board of Long Wharf Theatre made a decision to pursue a new production model that will allow the company to continue offering awe-inspiring work we’ve always loved while also reaching audiences throughout New Haven and beyond. They will continue to build on its history of innovation in new ways and new places.

This transformational decision allows Long Wharf Theatre to focus on producing, creating, and funding important artistic works instead of staying in a location that is not accessible to many and that disproportionately excludes large swaths of our population.

This is an exciting change. Long Wharf Theatre isn’t disappearing – it is ushering in a bold new chapter in partnership with its many communities, including some that we, the undersigned, represent as well. For centuries, cultural institutions have not been fully inclusive. Long Wharf Theatre is challenging that model by creating gathering spaces where all are welcomed. We know that Long Wharf Theatre will continue to produce world-class theatre. This move is about making the circle wider, because all people deserve access to all of the arts with intention, inclusion, and love.

Earlier this year, the City of New Haven released the Cultural Equity Plan, a sweeping collection of ideas to encourage the artistic institutions to confront its legacy of systemic racism in arts and cultural programming. Long Wharf Theatre is putting this plan in action – their new model demonstrates exactly how it can be an overall better cultural institution for ALL of Greater New Haven while positively impacting communities of color across New Haven – bringing cultural institutions directly to their doorsteps.

Change takes courage and, most importantly, it takes a village standing with you.

We’re proud to stand with Long Wharf Theatre’s board of directors, leadership, staff, and community members in supporting a path forward that will benefit all in our region for generations to come.

Sincerely,
Michael Barker
Melia Bensussen
Noah Bloom
Joan Channick
Anne Coates
Lee Cruz
Steve Driffin
IfeMichelle Gardin
Tiffani Gavin
Calida Jones
Annie Lin
Winter Marshall
Kica Matos
Anthony McDonald
Michael Morand
Jenny Nelson
Cynthia Rider
Dexter Singleton
Aleta Stanton
nico wheadon