A Letter from Dr. Marcus
Updated: May 19
My last day as Executive Director will be June 30, 2021, and the Collaboraction Board of Directors has commenced an Executive Director search. I’ll be joining Enrich Chicago alongside Nina Sanchez as the new Co-Director effective July 1st. With Enrich and Nina, I will continue to dismantle white supremacy and transform our city’s artistic landscape.
With fond memories made into a string of perfect moments in a genuinely progressive theatre for social change, the last four years at Collaboraction have been a source of healing, belonging, and manifesting for me. My time at Collaboraction gave me time to heal and grow.
As the Managing Director and later the Executive Director, my work afforded me numerous opportunities to work with an incredible staff of theatre-makers and artists from all over Chicago while engaging in Crucial Conversations that cultivated healing, belonging, and manifestations.
I am incredibly proud of the body of work we produced together.
The Peacebook Festival remains amongst my favorites and linger in my mind, such as Dese Shoes by Loretta Firekeeper Hawkins, Everybody Loves Pizza by Antonio Brunetti, and Broke Down Drone by Willie Round and Gary Mills, directed by J. Nicole Brooks. Touring these pieces to the Chicago Park District locations on the South and West Sides made the autumn season a true delight. I’ll never forget the packed houses of Kennedy-King College, where the community came together around the work and the conversation.
The brilliance of Encounter represents some of the best work produced by Collaboraction – Lift Every Voice, Folded Map, Sankofa, Open Questions, and Soul Suburbia. These new works were made at our previous home located at the Flat Iron Arts Building and added layers of mystery and magic to my string of perfect moments.
Holding space for young theatre-makers was especially moving for me as it reminded me of how important it was to have the arts, colleagues who made art, and adult art-makers as a teenager.
Finally, the mainspring stage shows, Blue Island in the Red Sea and La Havana Madrid, are classics in the making!
Every single person I’ve met at Collaboraction is genuinely remarkable. The staff, company members, designers, stage managers, storytellers, and artists are the folks with whom it is safe to bare your soul, and I did. The patrons and donors who support this work are deeply missioned and believe in the community and culture. Not only did they invest in our programs, but they also support the folks making the art. The Board of Directors believes in and supports the mission and the whole tribe. And, of course, there is my collaborator, Anthony Moseley. It has been a privilege to relearn to play, play with a greater purpose in mind, and use art to bring people together with Anthony, a true creative force of nature.
My journey with Collaboraction is not over, and under Darlene Jackson’s leadership, I’ll be stepping into a role as part of the Board of Directors. And I’m delighted to finish my term with Collaboration’s 25th-anniversary celebration Moonset Sunrise on June 24th, the launch of our new CollaborActivist membership initiative, and new brand identity.
My new Together Network show Center Point will launch with one-on-one conversations with some of today’s socio-political thought leaders in July. I will continue to co-host Becoming and Crucial Conversations.
I look forward to seeing you on June 24th and continuing to have conversations with you!