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    \ From Our Executive...

    From Our Executive Director: As We Look Toward the Future and The Reser’s Opening

    Friends and Supporters,

    There are two things I know for sure. First, that our differences make us stronger. Second, that it has been a long and difficult year for a lot of us.

    As we drive towards completion of Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, I am hopeful about the important role The Reser—and, more generally, the arts in Beaverton—will play in helping our community heal and move forward together. Our mission, as both a gathering place and a nonprofit presenter of performing arts, is to welcome people together around story and song in order to understand and appreciate our unique differences. Our goal is to promote healthy dialogue and connect community members in ways only the arts and artists can do. It is in the theater, as the lights go down, that a group of strangers miraculously becomes one audience. It is in the classroom that strangers, collaborating on a shared goal, become colleagues—and even friends.

    The Reser will come to life in Spring 2022, after a historic period that has seen multiple inflection points in our community: A devastating pandemic that exposed serious economic inequity; a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice and inequality that accelerated the Black Lives Matter movement; and increased instances of hate crimes against BIPOC groups and individuals, most recently targeting our Asian American communities. The Reser’s role in all of this is simple: We cannot—and will not—ignore injustice or harm done to our neighbors. Art and artists are essential to creating a more just society, where prejudices are confronted and reckoned with. We have much work ahead of us, but we at The Reser are committed to dismantling racism, bias, and hate, and uplifting moments of compassion, understanding, and joy.

    Beaverton is not homogenous. We are a highly diverse community encompassing people from vast racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, and abilities. The Reser is proud to be located in the heart of this welcoming and inclusive city, and we are committed to creating a space that’s representative of the people we serve. We’re excited and mobilized to amplify the voices and stories of underrepresented artists. We approach this commitment with the understanding that we must act deliberately as we create systems and policies at The Reser. We will have succeeded when every member of our community feels safe in our spaces and can see themselves and their stories represented not only on stage, but also in our staff, board, and leadership. We act on the belief that when members of our community feel heard, seen, and celebrated, a sense of belonging manifests. Magic happens.

    I know that this will take steadfast investment over the long term and an open dialogue with those we serve. If you are as committed to countering prejudice with curiosity, I invite you to join us.

    Please share your thoughts with me directly at
    cayzoukian@TheReser.org

    Thank you for your support. We look forward to when The Reser opens its doors in celebration to welcome all.