Until now, Paramount Theatre has not responded to the national suffering spurred by the unconscionable murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless other Black lives.
We acknowledge and apologize for our failure to respond more quickly, particularly when so many eyes are on Paramount as a leader in Chicago’s theatre community.
Please hear us now:
Black. Lives. Matter.
The undeniable fact is we are a predominately white organization. When we look inward, we acknowledge that we, as an organization, have benefited from white privilege.
So first, we apologize to the Black members of our community, from artists to staff to subscribers to volunteers, for any pain or suffering you have faced as a result of any past action – or inaction – from Paramount that has contributed to a culture of systemic racism.
Second, we realize mere words condemning racism are not enough. That’s why, today, Paramount pledges to take action against white supremacy and the brutality that stems from it. We encourage all within our reach to join us in choosing activism, not just allyship. We must not only stand together; we must ACT together.
To continue educating ourselves and foster awareness, Paramount will develop and share ideas and resources moving forward, and provide new platforms that will help abolish the racist injustices within our country and within our own theatre community.
Paramount has developed a list of specific measures now under consideration to fulfill our heartfelt commitment to focus our efforts and engage with the Black community. This array of actions will be announced shortly as decisions are finalized. We invite you all to participate in a thoughtful dialogue. We are ready to listen, learn, discuss, and ultimately, advocate.
We hope that you will rally with us, while we work to do better and be better as an institution in the Chicago theatre community, in the cultural community at large, and as a member of the beautiful city of Aurora.
—Tim Rater, President & CEO —Jim Corti, Artistic Director