EMILY JOHNSON, SHORE in Dᶻidᶻelaľic̆/Dkhw'Duw'Absh, photo by Ian Douglas

I view our bodies as everything: our bodies are culture, history, present and future, all at once.”— Emily Johnson

Today On the Boards is joining many fellow presenter colleagues, cultural workers, and artists across the country speaking in solidarity with Emily Johnson to express our commitment to stand against causing harm to artists and to hold each other accountable in these collaborative ways of working together.  

Emily Johnson is of the Yup’ik Nation, and an internationally known, award-winning, highly respected artist and cultural leader. On the Boards has a history of working with Emily, in 2015 On the Boards produced and presented SHORE.

SHORE involved many people in the creative community in Seattle and traversed inside and outside our building. It included volunteer actions in partnership with community organizations, a curated reading by Indigenous authors, and culminated in a joyous potluck feast! We welcome expansive artistic projects like Emily’s and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future. She is an incredible artist and we are grateful to receive her vision and welcome the invitation she asks of us doing the necessary decolonization work together. 

As you can see in the previous journal post, in an open letter published on Medium, entitled "A Letter I Hope in the Future, Doesn't Need to be Written", Emily described injustices that she experienced as a part of interactions with PEAK Performers, at Montclair State University. Today artists and arts workers, and specifically arts presenters working in performance and dance, have released statements of solidarity with Emily and all artists who have experienced this kind of harmful behavior within our field. We encourage you to read and listen to these statements below.

Performing Arts Presenters Statement in Solidarity with Emily Johnson

Artist Statement in Solidarity and Call to Action