Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.
-United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 13/09/2007
ARTICLE 11 was conceived in July of 2013, and registered as a not-for-profit organization* in September of 2013. That month we executed our first commission. We, Tara Beagan and Andy Moro, have come together as ARTICLE 11 to channel our mutual desire to pursue the creation of live performance works with a holistic approach and a rigorous attack. We create well-resourced works, with an inclusive model inspired by traditional Indigenous ways of living. Our projects are inter-generational, working to fill the dearth of Indigenous designers, arts managers and directors through paid apprenticeships. Our projects are an investment in the development of the contemporary Indigenous theatrical canon. They challenge us, our peers, veteran and emerging artists as well as non-artist stakeholders of the broader community.
Our projects are created with a mind to uncompromising excellence. Service of the art is prioritized at every step. Our workshops and productions are well-resourced at every level. We will maintain a virtual office model, and partner with venue-managing companies,
eliminating the need for related expenses. We remain committed to work that challenges the artists and the medium with an active pursuit of deepening practice and expanding the understanding of what the theatrical form is. We recognize and celebrate that theatre’s strongest asset is the ability to create communion among a group of individuals. As a living, breathing, shared experience, the medium must evolve with society. The work will have import for the communities of which we are a part. These include Indigenous, mixed blood, politically-thoughtful, feminist, non-discriminatory and mindfully accountable peoples. These communities will have access to the work. As mixed-roots “bridge” people, we believe that art can have a positive impact on relations between Indigenous peoples and non, and that each project we undertake can serve to prove this belief.
This mandate, as with our projects, is an ever-evolving work, continuing to strengthen as it ages, altering to serve the continued development of the art and the artists.
In our combined thirty-seven years of professional theatrical experience, we have become aware of some serious needs in the contemporary Indigenous arts ecology. This includes a dearth of Indigenous Designers, Stage Managers, Production Managers, Designers, Producers, and Administrators. We will do our part to address these needs by ensuring every project includes paid apprenticeship positions with clear guidelines well-supported by the entire creative and administrative team. We create work that provokes active thought and dialogue in our audience, and solicit ongoing feedback about our work in a candid, respectful and mutually satisfying way. This includes consulting with peers, veterans and emerging artists as well as with non-artist stakeholders.
Our projects are an investment in the development of the contemporary Indigenous theatrical canon. This investment necessarily extends beyond a premiere production. We disseminate our full-scale productions as complete yet evolving works, not as touring versions of something that has been more whole. This is an acknowledgement that we as Indigenous peoples are not bound by colonial borders, but bound by common experiences and concerns for humankind. Our work includes the full breadth of society, and while it prioritizes the Indigenous perspective and Indigenous artists, we believe that our contemporary stories and art also inherently include the non Indigenous population. This active inclusion in practice and execution will inform the public works on offer, and will contribute to an increase in understanding of relevance among a multitude of peoples.
ARTICLE 11 is a member of IPAA.
*ARTICLE 11’s Board of Directors is currently in formation.