The Methow Arts Alliance Staff and Board of Directors, like many of our colleagues who share a commitment to advancing racial equity, are deeply affected by the events of the last few weeks and their impact across the nation. We join with individuals, organizations, and leaders nationwide in solidarity, condemning the circumstances that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Equally, we stand in solidarity to condemn the tragic deaths of many other Black women and men across our country.
As an organization, Methow Arts Alliance recognizes that racial injustice continues to deeply affect the lives of many individuals and communities served through our work. Already, we have seen the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color –– these new incidents of racial injustice only amplify this crisis.
For our colleagues, our students, and community members suffering pain from these tragedies, we stand with you. We are listening and taking action. We are committed to ensuring that you feel safe and able to express your thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
For the artists, arts organizations, and communities served by our work, Methow Arts will continue to support leaders, artists, students, and communities of color, advancing equity through our programs and focusing on the concerns of underrepresented communities as we convene networks and advance wider agendas in the field.
We know that the Arts play a critical role in bringing people and communities together. As inequities persist, so does cultural, linguistic, and creative resilience. Methow Arts is deeply grateful for the diversity of courageous artists across North Central Washington, Washington State, and the United States who are continuing their work through this time. The Arts – through music, theater, spoken word, poetry, dance, visual arts, or film – is unique in its capacity to engage, uplift, encourage, and heal.
Methow Arts is committed to supporting equity in the arts in all that we do. We reaffirm our commitment to providing programs that serve and reflect the diversity of the arts and cultural community of our region. We will continue to:
- Advance equity through development of all Methow Arts programs by scrutinizing and designing our services to be more accessible to people of color and underrepresented communities;
- Examine and restructure our calls to artists, rosters, and panel members to support and deepen our commitment to racial equity;
- Center the concerns of historically marginalized communities as we continue our efforts to advance wider agendas in the field.
Now, more than ever, the voices of our artists must be heard. They can play a vital role in raising awareness while exposing and dismantling systems of oppression and state-sanctioned violence. Methow Arts staff and board acknowledge that we, as leaders in the Arts, must do everything we can to amplify marginalized voices, lift up underserved communities, and address systemic inequities in the arts, culture, and creative sectors. We pledge to examine our work and practices with honesty, humility, and a willingness to acknowledge our own privileges and prejudices while committing to a more just and equitable future. This is the work that lies ahead for us. We ask our colleagues, our students, and our community members, to join us in this work.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR DIRECTOR
A diverse matrix of races, cultures and histories is at the very heart of what makes Okanogan County and NCW an inspiring environment in which to raise families and create art. It truly strengthens us all to sympathetically learn and draw from the complexity of our community. I personally ask our community to come together to stand in solidarity with this statement and actions. Please contact me directly with ideas or questions. I am here to listen. I am here to talk. firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-341-4413.
Amanda Jackson Mott – Executive Director, Methow Arts Alliance