Community is everything, especially on our rugged 57-square mile island with its 5,500 citizens. We are all here by choice in this microcosm, where we ideally elevate each other to be better human beings in our participation. But along with engagement comes responsibility. Our collective roles are to make sure that each and every one of us is treated with dignity and fairness, and to strongly condemn and remove all barriers to personal opportunity and racial justice.

During Orcas Center’s closure, we have the opportunity to pause and reflect on how we as an organization, as a community, and as individuals can take responsibility as the cultural hub on the island. Systemic racism and its associated brutality must be stamped out. Massive sea changes are in motion where not being a racist is not enough. Today, we must collectively and adamantly be anti-racist.

We are re-tooling how we select shows, performers, and events, while creating standards of conduct that will be required of all who choose to participate: staff, board members, committee members, instructors, students, audience members, and volunteers alike.

We invite you to be part of the conversation as we are crafting these policies, and encourage you to reach out to Dimitri, Bethany, Jake, Nicole, or any Board member to learn how you can get involved – Orcas Center can only be a reflection of those who step up and participate and, with convictions, actions, and justice, we can all make Black Lives Matter.