A new series, Serious Fun, invites children, families, students and teachers to experience the wonder and excitement of live performance, with age-appropriate pre-and-post show activities, including creative workshops and talkbacks. This year’s Serious Fun productions include Gala, Pirates of Penzance and Love Heals All Wounds.
Adults get the “serious” part of the Serious Fun series. Art, music, and performance can help to inspire and illustrate complicated conversations on race, gender, sexuality, ability, and class, and their too-constant companions: hatred, violence, discrimination, and structural oppression. The shows and activities in this years’ inaugural Serious Fun series will provide opportunities to have these important conversations with kids (whether for the first time or as part of years of dialogue!), and these readings will be updated with specific resources for each performance.
For now, here are some timely resources for conversations with kids about racism and anti-semitism, in the wake of white supremacist rallies and domestic terrorism in Charlottesville.
“I did not want to tell my daughter, who has spent five of her six years growing up in Charlottesville, what happened in the city she calls beautiful… You will find me naïve, but will you hear me, as a mother, when I tell you that I don’t want to be the one to drop Du Bois’s veil down over her face? Because when you discover racism, there is no dipping your toes in the water, no testing the temperature out. Once your children know that even one person detests their bones and breath, they know.” —from “Talking to My Daughter About Charlottesville,” by Taylor Harris
This book collects essays inspired by parents’ responses Van Jones’s candid remarks on election night 2016, and includes an introduction from child psychologist Ava Siegler: How Do I Explain This to My Kids?: Parenting in the Age of Trump
An amazing resource, with research for adults and books for kids: We Need Diverse Books
A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, with resources on talking to kids about ableism, sexism, racism, homophobia: Teaching Tolerance
“It’s Never Too Early to Talk About Race“: just what it says on the box!
A list of children’s books on protests, racism, and anti-semitism, from the New York Times: “How to Talk to Your Kids About Charlottesville”
Another New York Times list, featuring books with protaganists of color: “Children’s Books That Tackle Race and Ethnicity”
From NY Magazine: “12 Feminist Kids’ Books for Dismantling the Patriarchy“