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In the June issue...

  • Where we stand 
  • Our plan of action 📝
  • Save the Date: our Virtual Pride Concert 🎙
  • Introducing our newest volunteers 👋
  • Help wanted: Seeking Web Developer Manager 💻
  • Key Spotlight: Stephanie Everrett 🔑

Where We Stand

Our mission as an organization is to promote the hiring of queer women and TGNC artists. We believe in transforming the musical theatre stage. We believe that representation matters. We believe in the intersectionality of representation. And we know that Ring of Keys has work to do to advance the black voices within our community. We are actively listening, learning, and stepping up our work to create a more inclusive community standing up to a white supremacist culture. 

Disproportionately impacting black and brown lives, the COVID pandemic proved just how instrumental community is for our collective survival, and the pandemic of racial injustice requires our collective energies toward dismantling oppression. In April, we increased our Workshop Series programming by 800% to meet the needs of our Members. At this moment - we have paused our Workshop Series to focus our efforts toward uplifting and supporting our Black Keys and BIPOC community during this time of grief, rage, and sorrow. Ring of Keys believes Black Lives Matter, Black Queer Lives Matter, and Black Trans Lives Matter. 

Ring of Keys started two years ago by a couple of queer white friends originally aimed as a monthly potluck. We have grown exponentially in that time, and our team of volunteers has grown organically by folks coming to the table offering to help. That process created a team of voices that was not representative of our Membership, and we recognized the need to change that.  

In 2019, Cynthia Nesbit joined our volunteer leadership team as Outreach Coordinator specifically to advocate for a safe space for our black and brown Key Members. We recognized that Ring of Keys had work to do toward making an anti-racist, inclusive BIPOC space, and that work continues. 

Our Plan of Action


We know progress toward ending systemic racism begins with action. Here’s what we’re doing: 

  • We have joined 500+ LGBTQ organizations in an open letter addressing the ongoing violence toward Black communities and uniting to combat racial violence
  • We’re reaching out to other sister organizations in a collective call toward demanding racial justice within our theatre industry
  • We’re committing to an ongoing, persistent and ever-present effort toward elevating black voices within our own leadership team and within the theatre industry at large
  • We’re building an Advisory Council of BIPOC voices
  • We’re centering our Black Keys during this time of outrage, and we are committing to an all-Black Keys Virtual Pride Concert to amplify these members of our community as a space for healing. 

We are recommitting to our Key Beliefs, stated on our website:

  • By standing together, we build intersectional awareness and community within our industry.

  • By prioritizing the full and fearless participation of our Members, we hold space for marginalized voices within our own queer community and beyond.

  • By representing a multitude of intersectional identities, we redefine the meaning and necessity of diversity within our industry.

  • By elevating queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists in our industry, we give conscious and subconscious permission to all queer artists to elevate themselves.

 

This is just the beginning. We know we will make mistakes. But we will be accountable to using our collective efforts to dismantle systems of oppression as we work toward equity. If you have questions or feedback, please reach out.  

Save the Date


Saturday June 27th, 8pm EST
 

An All-Black Keys Virtual Pride Concert toward healing
 

Music Direction by: Dionne McClain-Freeney
 

More details coming soon!

Introducing Our Newest Volunteers


Amara Brady (she/her): Operations Director 




Natasha Sutton Williams (she/her): London Ambassador



Jamie Maletz (she/her): Communications Admin




Thank you to Chelsie Nectow, our former Operations Director, for her work over the last year!

Want to represent your city chapter as an Ambassador? Email us at info@ringofkeys.org!

Help Needed

Ring of Keys needs your help! We’re in need of a Web Developer Manager for our website. Please share with your networks!

Go To Job Posting

Stephanie Everrett

1. What are your pronouns?
She/Her

2. What kind of art do you like to create?
I am mostly an actor and singer, but I’ve most recently been playwriting and assisting in set design, as well. I love knowing how every part of a piece of theater comes together.

3. What's your current project or ideal next project?
Personally, I’m working on a new play that is inspired by Fences (August Wilson). I’m interested in taking this black canonical piece and updating it for the West African immigrant and queer experiences of a 21st century family. I want the story to center around the women in the family, instead of the patriarchal standard that so many of our classic black plays had to invoke to be commercially successful. Professionally, I’ve used quarantine to help found The Sappho Project, a production and advocacy organization for women and TGNC composers, lyricists, and book writers. I work in development, helping with fundraising and planning musical workshops we hope to start this year. 

4. What do you like most about Ring of Keys?
In researching for my new job, I stumbled across Ring of Keys and loved the sense of community that exudes from the organization. In an industry where we have to gracefully occupy so many limiting spaces, it’s nice to have circles like RoK where I feel I can present myself fully, without fear of losing a job because of my race, gender, or sexuality.

5. Where can people go to learn more about you?
www.stephanie-everett.com or on IG: @stepheve24

Do you have work that you want us to showcase? Let us know! Reply to this email, or use the hashtag #ringofkeys on your social media posts so we can know about all the great stuff going on with our Members.
 
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Let's Queer The Stage

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