Statement from Director Paul R. Tetreault
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in ... to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." -Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865
Ford’s Theatre has long dedicated itself to making Lincoln’s vision of the world a reality: a reality in which all people can live in a just and peaceful nation. Now, in a time of crisis, we rededicate ourselves to the great work that consumed Lincoln’s life.
The power of the Theatre lies in the stories it tells to the community it gathers. If we can no longer gather, we lose our most powerful tool: our creative voice. This is especially challenging in times of civil unrest, when we long most to speak directly to the community we serve. We are silenced. However, with silence comes the opportunity to listen, to reflect, and to plan. We have been listening, and to our African-American Friends and Colleagues across this nation, we say: WE HEAR YOU. We hear your rage, and we know we must give it voice. We hear your cry for Justice, and know we must answer it by demanding Justice for all, in all aspects of our society. And we hear your weeping, and know we must answer it with love and acceptance.
As Ford’s Theatre plans for the future, we commit to using our power to tell stories that speak to the present moment with courage, hope, inspiration, joy and healing. We will not let this moment of tremendous challenge be forgotten until a more just society emerges, so all of our children can grow up in a country that values every single life as precious.
In the meantime, we stand in solidarity with the Black Community. We support your calls of justice for George Floyd and all victims of racial violence and terror. With you, we demand reforms in the way our police forces engage with Black citizens. And like you, we will work tirelessly to build a society where acts of violence and hate against minorities are no longer tolerated.
Paul R. Tetreault, director, Ford's Theatre