By Rajeeyah Finnie-Myers
The Field Leadership Fund’s (FLF) Opening Retreat took place back in December 2015. Following the retreat the Fellows took part in the FLF 8-week Workshop Intensive. When designing the Intensive, I had hoped that it would foster a feeling of community among the cohort and set the stage for strong collaborations. I think it successfully accomplished those goals. But perhaps just as importantly, it also brought up valid questions around creating a safe space that supports the work of disrupting systems of inequity. There is a balancing act that needs to happen when designing such a space. On one hand The Field wants Fellows to feel that the space is theirs to create, explore, question and own; but on the other hand if there isn't enough structure people may be less willing to take risks. Trust, responsibility and accountability are all two way streets and it can be challenging when both sides don't necessarily see eye to eye on what these aspects look like in our day to day interactions.
|Kendra Ross & Aya Lane|
|Eric Lockley & Bryan Glover foreground;|
Sydnie l. Mosley & Azure D. Osborne-Lee background
With the ultimate decision-making power being in the hands of The Field, an important question arose: what is the difference between trusting someone and surrendering your power to over to someone? This question can come up in any relationship, rather it be with donors, presenters, critics, board members, collaborative artists or staff. Additionally, what happens if there is money (or any other resource) on the table?
At The Field we are left reflecting on what true equity looks like in these instances. Weigh in with your thoughts and look for more from The Field on this topic as we continue to learn from FLF.
|Photograph from the pairing event.*|
All photographs by David Flores
*Azure D. Osborne-Lee, Kyoung H. Park, Goussy Celestin, Rachel DeGuzman, Aya Lane, Bryan E. Glover, Eric Lockley,
Kendra Ross, Jehan O. Young, Sydnie Mosley and Alexis Convento. Not pictured: Emily Berry