JUNE 2017

Dear Fellow Citizen,

Last year we feared the worst with a possible Trump presidency. Today we are living that nightmare as the Dismantler-In-Chief continues riding his wild ego, tweeting rants, slashing progressive policies and going from national disgrace to global pariah in record time. Even the Mime Troupe couldn't make this up!

True, our democracy is messy, unpredictable and clearly not tamper proof. Yet people from around the globe still arrive here "yearning to breathe free". They come with fresh ideas and the tenacity of hope, something we all really need right now. While Dolt 45 promises to build his HUGE wall, the real wall is built with the bricks of ignorance, fear, hatred and demonization that allowed him and his regressive cronies to hijack our democracy.

In our new original piece WALLS, we tell the story of three immigrants who find that the rude realities of living here compound their detachment physically and mentally, adding them to the victims of the growing epidemic of social isolation that (fired!) former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy cited as a top health risk. Murthy also said that "The world is locked in a struggle between love and fear. Choose love. Always. It is the world's oldest medicine. It is what we need to build a nation that is safe and strong for us and our children". That's real medicine and what people seek. We are a nation of immigrants ... and ideals.

This is what our own Rotimi Agbabiaka said ...

"I became a U.S. citizen eleven years after migrating here from my birthplace of Nigeria. That's when I realized that my understanding of what it means to be a citizen had been indelibly shaped by the lessons I learned being in the Mime Troupe. I learned that being a citizen is an active endeavor and that everything that is great about our country is encapsulated in these three words: 'We The People'. All the progress we have made towards achieving true liberty and justice for all is a result of the citizens who have played their part by voting, protesting, resisting, serving in public office. And holding those in office accountable by writing, performing, educating and supporting the efforts of other citizens who are working to make this country as fair and kind and as great as it should be."

View a clip of Rotimi giving the above speech at a 2017 fundraising event!

Now more than ever, in this time of division, SFMT breaks through the 4th wall of the stage to bring theater, both creation and performance, to underserved audiences in their own communities whether it's Bayview, Merced or in Salinas Valley Prison. And we still keep performing FREE IN THE PARKS! But it's getting more difficult to finance our efforts. Under the current regime the NEA may likely be granting its last grants (hopefully we'll receive one of them) and our city agencies could be docked for our Sanctuary policies. And as in all our 58 years, we still do not take corporate funding. So we ask for your financial support to help us break down those walls, initiate conversation and inspire activism. Give generously and challenge your family and friends of varied opinions to a discussion following our show this summer. Now more than ever, we need to talk with each other and break down the walls of ignorance and fear. We must choose love over fear and health over greed for the sake of our children and our planet.

In Optimistic Solidarity,

The San Francisco Mime Troupe

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