For the past four years, Common Ground, SPA's students of color affinity group, has collaborated with the Penumbra Theatre Company to engage the SPA community in presentations about race and diversity. The presentations have taken different forms over the years, from sharing monologues to creating invisible theater, a type of performance theater where narratives are unexpectedly acted out in the least expected venues.
This year, the student affinity group led a conversation about community—One of SPA's core values—with the Upper School student body, asking their peers to dig deeply into two questions: “What is community?” and “How do we make SPA a community welcome for all?”
The conversation was led by eight students from Common Ground and H. Adam Harris, the Associate Director of Program at Penumbra Theatre Company who has been working with the affinity group. To shape the conversation, the panel shared survey results from the larger Upper School community which highlighted people and places identified as important to the SPA community, as well as myths about SPA that an outsider might perceive. Upper School students were also challenged to think about what changes they would make to SPA and how they, individually and collectively, can continue to cultivate a vibrant and welcoming community for all. Common ground students were tapped to elaborate on various survey findings and their experiences within the SPA community.