During election week we facilitated both in-person and online discussions of the Election from an International Perspective, the Artist’s Role in a Divided World, and Truth and Lies in Media. We also facilitated open discussions that were not topic-driven. In the group that I led, we ended up talking about reaching across ideological lines to create dialogue and find common ground.
The post-election groups were part of the ongoing discussions that the Idyllwild Arts community has been having since the start of the school year. We are focused on making sure that all voices in our community get heard and that they have space to speak honestly and openly about feelings of inclusion or exclusion. Idyllwild Arts Academy prides itself on embracing diverse cultures, different nations, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. But full inclusion requires deep humility and intentional listening to and by all community members. Thus, our “Belonging” webinar last month broadened the sense of who is important to the community by including Chris Stroud (Director of Dining Services) and Mercedes Guzman (Custodial, Lead, Housekeeping) among the speakers. The webinar launched our AIM (Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism) survey and initiated thoughtful conversations to advance our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As an arts community, our ability to use our creativity to listen, heal, and effect change is a gift. We continue to flourish as a community dedicated to encouraging and educating young artists to resist the fears that can inhibit their power to open the world to new possibilities.
Head of School, Idyllwild Arts Academy