For the first many years of its existence, The PPF’s mission was to bring magic to children at the hospital. But we became far too wrapped up in “casting authentically to films.” In a world full of white cartoon female princesses, we spent a solid decade in the beginning of our casting trying to keep the “authenticity” of the cartoons, to make it more “magical” for the kids, so they would think that the characters had stepped right out of the movies….
BUT WHAT IS MORE MAGICAL THAN REPRESENTATION AND INCLUSION?! Don’t all kids deserve to see themselves represented on the stage? In the movies? Everywhere?
Of course they do.
Over the past several years, we have become a fully inclusive casting organization. We know that if media won’t shift the narrative with who is represented-and how-than it is up to the rest of us. It is on us. But we took far too long. We should have been working to shift the narrative from day one.
To our beautiful, diverse foundation and audience members, thank you for helping us to keep bringing powerful philanthropic theatre to the community, but also for helping to push us to keep striving to be the best, most inclusive organization we can be. We are so proud of the diversity on the stage… but it isn’t enough.
We still have a long way to go.
For those who have ever felt slighted, overlooked, unseen, or unheard in our casting choices… that is on us. We offer our sincerest apologies and are grateful for your talent and your love. We hold ourselves accountable and we will forever strive to do better.
Our “Hear Our Voices” concert should have happened long ago. We are honored to lift our black/African community-but where have we been until now? Living in a predominantly white area is NOT an excuse to have a predominantly white foundation. We value the black/African artists in our family immeasurably… but are we loving them the best we can if we aren’t working to place them in more roles, and to reach out and fill our foundation with more members of their community?!
Black lives matter. And we need to be better listeners to make bigger change.
Effective immediately, we will be putting together an Inclusion, Outreach, and Accountability team. We will no longer be a part of the problem. Instead, we promise to continue to work tirelessly to be part of the solution.
This is on us.
Love & Light,
Leslie Noel Hansen and the Board of Directors
The Peter Pan Foundation