A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Ruth Dickey stands at a lectern speaking into the microphone while holding a piece of paper.

A Letter from Ruth

Dear friends,

When Carol Anderson was with us just over two weeks ago, she talked about how the work of racial equity and justice is like a symphony that needs all the various players to work. She shared, “One of the things that really comes to the fore when you study the strategies of the [Civil Rights Movement] is that everybody had a role to play. There were those who could speak. There were those who could fix the food.” I’ve been thinking a lot about Professor Anderson’s words, and the roles that each and all of us need to play to create a more just world, particularly for Black people, and the role that SAL has in this work.

Last fall (which now feels like several years ago), we conducted an extensive set of surveys and focus groups to hear from the community and to guide our next 3-5 years of work. One of the things we heard loud and clear is that people wanted increased access to our events, and part of that access has to do with the affordability of tickets.

In response, this year we’ve created $10 ticket levels for most events this year, and for anyone for whom that is not affordable, our Community Access Ticket (CAT) program ticket sign up is now live. CAT distributes free tickets to individuals and community groups, and this is our third year of dedicating 10% or more of our seats to be sure people can join us without cost being a barrier. We’d love for you to help us spread the word about these two options.

This weekend would have been my mom’s 79th birthday, and next week, my brother will turn 50. I was supposed to be flying across the country now for a surprise party. In the context of the devastating losses from racist violence, police brutality and COVID-19, I know these are very small griefs, and yet I am holding both of them heavily.

When I find myself feeling silly for that, I try to remember that I want to fight for a world where all the griefs matter: the griefs of the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and Manuel Ellis and Rayshard Brooks and Lorenzo Anderson and Charleena Lyles and Prince Jones and so many more names we do not know. The griefs of everyone who has lost a loved one to the coronavirus. The griefs of graduations and weddings and funerals missed. The griefs of everyone who is afraid and who feels alone. The griefs big and small that all of us carry. Even mine, even yours.

Reading and walking with you,

Ruth Dickey
SAL Executive Director

Posted in 2019/20 Season