Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this Americans for the Arts blog post, the author draw on her background as a child of immigrants growing up with a love of theater to emphasize the importance of inclusivity in the arts world.
• What are we doing to encourage more perspectives in arts-related organizations? How can we make more of an effort to fund programs that push for more diverse voices?
I am the daughter of immigrants. My parents came to the United States from Honduras and Mexico. I grew up in the barrios of Houston, Texas without access to quality arts education or after-school programs. Still, from a young age, I knew I wanted to work in the arts when I grew up. I learned how to solve problems creatively by using the tools we had at home, mainly YouTube videos, to memorize monologues and make my own performances in our living room …
At college, I was not only given tools to grow in the arts field but also encouraged to use them. While working at a dance festival one summer, I learned about the different experiences of my peers. They had been performing from a young age, took classes in their respective form of art, attended summer and winter intensives, and could hold conversations about artists and companies of which I had never heard. Immersing myself in this environment allowed me to expand my knowledge of the arts field, one that I had been neglecting because of systemic barriers and racial inequality in our education system.
My experiences have taught me something very important: I have to make my own seat at the table instead of waiting to be invited to join one.
Read the full article about the power of representation and opportunity by Jacqueline Flores at Americans for the Arts.
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