Theater The Langston Hughes Affair Slowly Ascending to “Shitstorm” Status
posted by December 10 at 13:25 PMon
Back in mid-October, Jacqueline Moscou, the artistic director of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (and perennial director of Black Nativity at Intiman) was removed from her post at Langston Hughes and placed under investigation by the city. Nobody would say why—not city officials, not Langston Hughes employees, not Ms. Moscou, nobody.
Reporters weren’t the only people frustrated by the silence—this week’s theater section has a story about 80 irritated Central District residents who hijacked a city parks meeting, demanding answers.
The climax of the meeting was an announcement by Vonda Sargent, Moscou’s attorney, that her African-American client is being investigated for charges of racism.
“She’s been accused of being too pro-black,” Sargent said. Then her microphone went dead.
The crowd started shouting.
“Let her speak! We need to hear this!” yelled Pastor Carl Livingston.
Sargent’s microphone came back to life.
(The rest of the story is here.)
The city still isn’t saying much (officials argue, rightly, that it would be a violation of Ms. Moscou’s privacy to say anything before the have finished their investigation), but the community is still pissed. Prized from this morning’s bale of email:
Communities Unite for Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
Candelight Vigil and Peaceful Protest
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:00 p.m.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave. S, 98144
In recent weeks, the community voiced its concern surrounding the mission, management and artistic direction of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
…it is important for supporters to continue to make their voices heard in support of the vision of Langston as a space to celebrate and showcase Black arts in Seattle and to provide opportunities for Black artists the thrive…
It is time for the voices of the community to speak truth to power and demand that Langston remain true to its vision as an African American artist-centered space!
The city maintains that its investigation of Ms. Moscou has nothing to do with “de-blacking” Langston Hughes. The attorneys and activists disagree.
Nobody will persist in knowing anything until the city releases the results of the investigation.
Nobody knows when that will happen.