How Do We Make Room for Diversity of Identity Within Audacity?

Diversity at Audacity Performing Arts

Here is something I have been giving a lot of thought to over the past months.

Audacity works with children from very diverse socio-cultural, linguistic and economic backgrounds. The communities we serve are far more diverse, in this sense, than those of us who run the company.

If we are mainly producing Disney stories (our plays) that are clearly creations of a cultural hegemony, how do we allow for the self-exploration/self-discovery within that context?

Diversity at Audacity Performing Arts

To be sure the power of being able to participate in the familiar is important to these children. To my eyes, our program participants appear to find comfort, joy and strength in connecting to the larger dominant cultural artifacts. At the very least, participating in a team that makes plays for an audience appears to be an experience that offers an over all positive experience.

The question I think about very often is this: How do we do all of this while still allowing (make room for) gateways/openings though which a non-homogenized self might emerge (be fostered)? How do we make sure to leave openings for the natural hybrid identity of the children we serve? How so we work with hegemonic artifacts of culture such that our approach is expanding and not limiting?

Louis Stone-Collonge
Founder and President
The Audacity Performing Arts Project, Inc.