We will not be RE-Opening.

There was a lot of talk about the “re-opening” of our country and of Broadway before George Floyd’s tragic murder.

But now, it has become painfully clear that a “re-opening” is not what our next step should be. We shouldn’t want a “re” of anything. We shouldn’t want to go back to the way it was before. We should want something new.

We should want an OPENING. Of eyes. Of hearts. Of minds. An opening of a new country and yes, a new business.

To do so requires a commitment. And I wanted to state my commitments and my goals publicly in this pledge.

For me, my office, and my work, we will NOT be re-opening. We will be opening. And part of my mission will include the following:

    • I vow to keep listening.
    • I vow to keep learning.
    • I vow to use the privilege I have to speak up and take action for others.
    • I vow to raise my child with a greater understanding of the world and what she can do to change it.
    • Or simply . . . I vow to do better.

How?

Well, I’m already brainstorming, concocting, and actioning things that I hope will make a difference, including how I can make sure there are Black people and/or people of color on the producing team of every show I do.

There’s a lot to do. And I hope you’ll join me.

But if all this seems overwhelming to you, or you don’t know what to do next, then try this:

The ‘philosophy of change’ I’ve found to be the most effective is The 1% Rule. Simply stated, it says to pick an area of your life you’d like to improve. Then, try to improve in that area just 1%, every day. That’s it. Only 1%. But EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The compounded results can be extraordinary

Now, take a moment . . . and imagine if everyone reading this post did the same thing.

I challenge you to adopt The 1% Rule to improve your understanding of racism and how you can help to eradicate it.  (Need an idea for your first 1%?  Here’s is where I started.)

I’ll end this blog having just started this journey, and by quoting some of the listening I did last week. Because this Leader actually gave me something we could all use right now . . . hope.

“As tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends and they offer an opportunity for us to all work together.

When sometimes I feel despair, I just see what’s happening with young people all across the country, and the talent, and the voice, and the sophistication that they’re displaying and it makes me feel optimistic. It makes me feel as if this country’s going to get better.”

-Barack Obama

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Want to get started now?  Here are three ways:

1.  A link to charities and resources is listed here.
2.  10 Black Theater Companies that could use your support now are listed here.
3.  Attend the Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s forum, BroadwayForBlackLivesMatter which begins on 6/10.  Click here for more.
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Our livestream will return next Tuesday, June 16th. The first guest will be announced right here tomorrow!
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Comments
  • Mary Steffens says:

    Thank you for this Ken. It gives me hope. I am 76 and have suffered a certain amount of disappointment and despair over the events of the past weeks. I fought these battles in the 60’s and thought we had learned. Some have and some have not. I’m proud to say a number of my grandchildren, I have 16, are proudly taking part in the demonstrations. I guess I did something right. Again thanks for this ray of hope. Here’s hoping America “opens” soon. Miss your interviews….they are SO inspiring.

  • Stacey Powells Lyster says:

    Thank you, Ken. I’m so proud to be a part of an inclusive artistic community. Appreciate your thoughts regarding all the discontent on our planet right now.

  • Joe Marino says:

    When I was reading your post and you were suggesting trying something each day- I immediately thought of a book that I wanted to suggest to you and your readers. When I clicked onto the link in the post, it was the book I was going to suggest- WHITE FRAGILITY. Every person should read it. Read it and listen. Read it and learn. Read it and become a better human. Become a better ally.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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