Reimagining ITS 2020
June 3, 2020
In the Soil Arts Festival – Taking Pause
In light of what is going on across North America and elsewhere, we have made the difficult decision to postpone most* of our scheduled ITS Online programs.
We can’t justify moving along, business as usual, while acknowledging what is happening in city after city. We must recognize the systemic racism that exists in our communities, and through this decision, we offer and hold space for our black colleagues, neighbours and friends in this important moment.
We owe this to our black colleagues and friends. Those we present, hire, collaborate with, market and welcome into our spaces. It is on us.
There are many people and artists of colour in our neighbourhoods, cities and in our region. As a predominately white organization, Suitcase in Point is committed to examining and addressing the internalized racism that exists in ourselves and in the system that we live in. We need to find actionable ways forward and deeply consider the stories we tell and who they are for. As artists. Audiences. Board members. Staff. Volunteers. Friends. As a community.
White colleagues, neighbours, friends: if we haven’t already, it is time to get out from under our heavy blankets – see the world as it is. Really look at ourselves. Acknowledge our privilege and our intended or unintended racist behaviours. Listen. Learn. Be connected.
Eyes open. Hearts open. Humility on. Egos aside.
There is no time for fear and shyness.
The recent events in the U.S. and Canada are unfortunately not shocking. They are further entries on the list of centuries of oppression and racism in North America.
As Suitcase in Point continues to learn and evolve into a more equitable organization, we acknowledge the time, energy and resources it will take from all of us. Our Board of Directors. Our staff. Our co-founders. We are all committed to this growth. We are committed to being anti-racist. The work we must do is ongoing. We welcome feedback. We welcome criticism.
We stand in solidarity with all black creatives, artists and people in our community and beyond.
It is not enough to just say all of this. We know this.
We have decided to donate 50% of all contributions received through our online festival to the Niagara Region Anti Racism Association.
On Saturday 6 June, there is a peaceful demonstration being organized in Niagara Falls, #Justice4BlackLives. Suitcase in Point will be there. Link to more information here:
We look forward to sharing the work of the incredible artists that we planned on showcasing this week. Their work is inspired. Their imaginations persistent. Thanks to all of you!
Thank you to our community partners, our present and past volunteers, our board of directors, programming committee, co-founders, staff and supporters.
We will continue to share further actions and accountabilities. We will hold ourselves accountable. If you feel we are falling short, or have fallen short in the past, please reach out, we will listen.
In peace and love,
Artistic Director, Suitcase in Point
*Programs we are still delivering:
Two Birds One Stone: Wednesday 3 June 7pm – We believe this has the ability to connect to the moment and the complex conversations that are happening around the world.
Remixed: Thursday 4 June 10am, 4pm + Friday 4pm + 8:30pm – If you have registered for a performance, you will receive a separate email with more information.
WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU VOLUNTEER!
- A really great time, new friends, and a chance to contribute to an annual community festival.
- Special workshops to prepare you for and take care of you after the festival.
- Fresh food and refreshments.
- ONE SHIFT – A festival t-shirt + a really great time.
- TWO SHIFTS – 50% off your festival pass + festival t-shirt + a really great time.
- THREE SHIFTS – FREE festival pass + festival t-shirt + a really great time.
- FOUR SHIFTS – Our eternal gratitude + FREE festival pass + festival t-shirt + a really great time.