“This is Garland Goodwin Wilson. I'm the Artistic Director for Of Moving Colors Productions. If you've been Zooming with me, you know that I'm still in the same place. If you're my friend or someone that knows me well, you'll know that I’m not a big social media person, so this is a little different for me. But I think it's an important time to speak. A few days ago, Of Moving Colors released a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. We are an interracial modern dance company in Baton Rouge, LA. I just wanted to follow that up with a little word from behind the scenes.
When I was 25, I traveled the world and fell in love with the professional world of dance. I was in a company that had 14 different ethnicities and, I think, 6 interracial marriages. It was very inspiring to me. I remember being in Cambodia and thinking that [this diversity] is not what was going on in Louisiana, and that we had a lot of work to do in that area. So, OMC has always been about colors moving on stage in different colors of bodies. Although, we still a ways to go for that as well. My hope is to offer a space where people can come together and create beautiful movement and beautiful art and share it with Louisiana.
In our statement, we said that we could do better, and we can do better. As a company, we are trying to figure out the action steps (even if that step is just to listen) that we are supposed to take. We've always done that, actually. Please know that it's always been a part of my heart, but perhaps with a little more clarity during this time. I really pray for a time when our country can stand beautifully close and loving with one another and together, when equality is something that can be seen in our country.
I want to stand behind the friends of mine that are black women and men and artists and creators and beautiful people. I want to support you as you, hopefully, have time to speak, hopefully, have time to be heard. As a white woman in Louisiana, I am going to say that there are things that I might not ever understand, but I am committed to listening and praying, continuing to love, and learn. Thank you for always sharing your heart with me. I appreciate that.
Julian, one of our dancers that many of you know, said that I should ask for your support. This is coming out of a pandemic, and the arts were really hit hard. Dance companies are no acceptation, so this is a really hard time for our company. In the midst of many things that are making history, the support for a dance company may not be the top thing on your list, but our dancers need your support (our black dancers and our white dancers) and our children. We're about to have our scholarship luncheon, Byrde's Luncheon, where we raise money for opportunities for those who cannot afford dance to be able to train alongside our professionals. I hope that you can support Of Moving Colors. Support the arts. Even though this is a difficult time for our country. Thank you for listening, and I hope it made a little bit of sense.”
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