To: The UW School of Music Community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends)
From: Richard Karpen, Director, School of Music; and JoAnn Taricani, Director Designate, School of Music
We are sending this message in a time of distressing turmoil. Although it is difficult to find the words that can convey the depth of our individual experiences and our collective feelings of outrage, sorrow, and profound disappointment, our School of Music must speak in support of our students and our community and affirm the commitment of the entire university to the principles of equity and justice.
We in the UW School of Music stand in emphatic and empathetic solidarity with the Black Community. We are committed to continuing the generations-long work of equal justice, standing on the shoulders of those who came before us, to persist in the effort of dismantling the destructive forces of racism in our country. Music is a mysterious art: it is a listening art for all who are immersed in it (audiences and makers, individually and collectively). It can be an active art, an emotional art, an art of embodiment. We in the School of Music community join our broader university in striving to make a difference locally and globally. We make our contributions though music, engaging our communities in our teaching, performing, and listening together. In this Spring of 2020, we have learned that although we have become isolated physically from one another, we can still connect with each other in new ways of exploring music. We are still listening. Ultimately, music can provide a component of moving our communities forward and creating a more equitable and spiritual world. Now we dedicate our energy to offering our support and solidarity to our students, especially those who bear the special burden of representing the Black Community in a society that is still too often unjust.
There have been important messages from President Cauce and other UW leaders, and we include links to those messages below in case some who are reading this have not seen them. The School of Music joins with President Cauce and all committed to equity and justice for our Black Community at our university and around the nation.