First, thanks Anastasia for such a marvelous and accurate story on the situation at Karamu. Those of us far away appreciate your journalistic integrity and style. :-)
As a longtime Karamu supporter, volunteer, actor and student, I just want to say that Karamu has truly reclaimed it's place in the local and national arts scene since Terrence came to work there. He's been a tireless force behind the reestablishment of Karamu and its creative legacy. Karamu now stands as a shining example of what we can accomplish creatively together.
The Jelliffes established Karamu as a place for culture to blossom. It has been a center for community activity for nearly 100 years and is a Cleveland landmark. It is without a doubt, the creative soul of Cleveland's Black community. I cannot for the life of me understand the attitudes that would try to make it less than it was meant to be. Value cannot always be measured in dollars and cents, although Terrence has brought in moneys that eluded past directors with his vision and courage. Yet, there persists this foolish infighting that's all about personal power and not about the greater good.
Now this latest move by certain board members, influenced by the executive director, is making my gorge rise. Shame on you all! You've let your petty jealousies and rampant insecurities blind you to the truth. You simply won't survive without the theater.
From a marketing perspective, Karamu is a long established brand –– a THEATER brand. You won't be able to change that association in the minds of the public, or funding sources, so stop wasting (y)our time. Learn to work together, you're stronger together than apart! - Patrice Kelly
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