Penland’s mission is to “support individual and artistic growth through creative practice and discovery.” So we are a craft school, yes, but we are also advocates—for learning, for transformation, for supportive and generous community. And right now, that means we are advocates for the urgent changes that need to take place across this country. Black lives matter. Black joy and freedom and creative expression matter. Black grief and protests and injustices matter.
It’s difficult to support growth and creativity in a society where some people are unsafe, unequal, unvalued. And it’s hard to learn and share if we are not listening to all the voices that need to be heard.
This is a reminder to ourselves: There is so much work to do, and WE are the ones who have to do it.
This is a pledge to all of you: We will listen and learn and support and amplify and implement and question and use our resources to foster justice and equity in our community. We know that we still have work to do when it comes to issues of race, equity, and inclusion.
And this is an invitation: This work is not something that we can delegate, or finish, or brush off. It takes us all. Please, join in.