Most every day we hear that our city of Durham, NC is "thriving," with prosperity around every corner. DRT supports thoughtful, sustainable city growth that ensures the continuation of our city's treasured character - a stable multiplicity of race and economy that values a strong African American presence at diverse financial levels. With rents and food costs skyrocketing all over town, and our most economically vulnerable citizens - seniors, children and people of color - impacted first and worst by the rapid change, that rich identity is significantly endangered.
Durham, NC is caught up in the increasing national gap between wealth and poverty, mimicking economic boom and bust trends that result in increased homelessness along with diminished nourishment and educational resources (including access to the arts that support vital literacy and character development.) The result nationally is homeless levels not seen since the last big recession and a mass of citizens working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. In Durham, as of 2017 we had lost more than 10% of our African American community since 2010. Families are being forced to leave their homes and communities to seek housing outside Durham.
Because current national and local trends threaten DRT's ability to fulfill our mission - and because we believe in turning lemons into lemonade - we have decided to help make the racial and economic injustice visible - With "Stop the War on Our Poor (SWOP)" buttons. DRT artistic director, Jenny Justice, designed the SWOP buttons using photographs from DRT shows and summer camps. Thanks to all the talented photographers and to the actors for their inspiration.
There are 7 button designs to choose from, or mix and match. Buttons are 2"x 2" squares with back-pin, made of high-quality, pretty, and durable plastic. Purchase them online at durhamregionaltheatre.com/swop/ or with a check to DRT, PO Box 61894, Durham, NC 27715
Donations will 1) cover the costs of making and mailing buttons and 2) support DRT's mission to serve an authentically, thriving, multi-racial community
Please allow 2 weeks for buttons to be printed and mailed to you (pick-up is available too)