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Showing posts from June, 2020

It Wasn’t a Party—It Was a Riot

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By Beryl Baker and Livian Yeh

San Francisco Pride is turning 50 this year amid a global pandemic and worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism. In response to questions about the upcoming virtual celebration and rally, San Francisco Pride board president Carolyn Wysinger expressed support of the protesters and highlighted the especially vulnerable Black trans community. “Stonewall was started by a Black trans woman. Stonewall was a defense of Black bodies,” says Wysinger. “In honor of this, San Francisco Pride will use this moment to lift up and center our Black LGBTQ+ community members.” The woman Wysinger referred to was Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender activist and performer credited with throwing the first brick at Stonewall. As the saying goes, Pride didn’t start as a party—it was a riot, and members of the LGBTQ+ community have long fought back against police harassment and discrimination. 

According to the Human Rights Campaign, the transgender and …

Jennifer Bielstein Joins Mayor Breed’s Economic Recovery Task Force

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By Simon Hodgson

Congratulations to A.C.T. Executive Director Jennifer Bielstein for her appointment to San Francisco’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force. “We are looking for ways to keep businesses and organizations afloat and prepare San Francisco for recovery,” says Mayor London Breed. “This Task Force will help us get there.”


Bielstein is one of a select group of arts and culture leaders joining the task force. Given the diverse economic challenges facing San Francisco and the Bay Area, the Task Force draws its talented members from many areas: elected officials, representatives from multiple unions, city planning administrators, Chinatown community leaders, prominent local business owners (representing many sectors including the restaurant and construction industries), chamber of commerce leaders, as well as executives from California-based multinationals including Google, Gap, and Salesforce.

A.C.T.’s executive director is well suited for this participation—Bielstein bring…

Our Commitment and Resources to Anti-Racism

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Last week we shared a message with our community in response to the trauma our country and individuals are experiencing with the continued horrific and unnecessary deaths of Black people.
Over the past two years, A.C.T. has undergone tremendous change as an institution. We have owned and learned from our history, including significant input from a departing Black MFA faculty member in 2018, and recognize ongoing systemic challenges. We continue to evolve our organizational culture and work toward making meaningful changes that reflect our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

In our efforts to be an anti-racist organization, American Conservatory Theater is taking or committing to take the following actions:
Serving as community advocates by ensuring our programming reflects and represents the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area communityEnsuring the diversity of creative teams (including playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, and designers) to better tell stories and mak…