Music + Art + Community in the Western Catskills
Due to COVID-19, many of our scheduled 2020 events will be canceled, postponed, or presented in an online format.
To learn more, sign up for our newsletter, check out our calendar of events, and browse our COVID-19 & Community Resilience information.
Please consider supporting The WKC through this period of uncertainty by making a donation or becoming a 2020 member.
A message from WKC Executive Director Patrick Barnes:
I am overwhelmed and heartsick at the violence our country is bearing witness to right now, and the delay in sending this message has been brought on by my fear that I would not have the right words; by the honest reality that I just don’t know what to say in the face of something so devastating, and so much larger than myself or this organization. We are committed to uplifting black voices, to educating our community members, and to preserving The Centre’s role as a welcoming and inclusive space for all people.
By the nature of where we live, we are often afforded the privilege of feeling insulated from the world’s problems, but that does not mean we are absolved. As a fourteen-year-old growing up in Stamford, NY, a largely homogenous, white community, I will never forget the morning that we discovered KKK fliers had been posted around our school grounds. Although this was one of the more overt acts of racism I have witnessed in our community, it is indicative of a much greater, structural, systemic and therefore insidious problem that exists. We are not exempt from acknowledging and acting against the injustice of racism, in all of its manifestations.
The Centre’s mission is to serve our community with high-quality programming, to broaden access to new work, and to provide exposure to other art forms and artists of varied cultural and ethnic influences and backgrounds. We are a conduit for community gatherings, but also for community education. Although we are not able to be together now, I encourage all members of WKC to take the time to have challenging conversations with friends and neighbors, and to interrogate the systems we participate in each day. We have a responsibility to do more and to stand up in the face of prejudice and hate. Below, we have included a handful of resources for those of you wishing to learn more. This list is certainly not comprehensive, and we invite you to reach out to us with other materials you may come across and wish to share.
For the past 45 years, the West Kortright Centre has benefited from the creativity and perseverance of black people. We are indebted to them culturally, spiritually, and intellectually, and our success is built on standing in solidarity with them. On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff of the West Kortright Centre, we are here to say to the Black community: We see you, We hear you. We are listening. We are learning. We stand with you. And to our community, let us look outward, and then inward, by listening, educating ourselves, and educating others. As we know all too well, it takes a village— let’s stand in solidarity to make this a more just and equitable one.
- The New York Times – The 1619 Project
- Playbill – Black Lives Matter Resources 101
- Harvard Business Review – U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism
- Forbes – First, Listen. Then, Learn: Anti-Racism Resources For White People
- The Movement for Black Lives
Set in a bucolic rural valley in the northwestern Catskill Mountains of New York State, The West Kortright Centre is a nonprofit organization dedicated to excellence in arts programming, featuring a diverse blend of world-class concerts, workshops, art exhibits, and community events.
Now a historic landmark, our elegantly renovated 1850s church provides a unique, intimate and acoustically excellent space to absorb the finest cultural programming, as well as offering a showcase for local young people, and variety of workshops for all ages.