NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —As the July DownStreet Art event, MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) and members of the the North Adams Artist Impact Coalition (AIC) are collaborating to present a community conversation to move toward anti-racism in the arts from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, via Zoom. This event is free and open to the public, and registration is required at least 24 hours in advance. Additionally, all artists and arts administrators from the Northern Berkshires are invited to participate in this hands-on conversation.
Many people who are not of color and who work within the arts express a desire to be anti-racist and move toward systemic and institutional change. Part of the process of becoming anti-racist is to understand how difficult the journey itself is and why. We invite members of the Northern Berkshires’ vibrant arts community to engage in this discussion as a means of understanding the role we all play as the individuals who make up collectives and as the members who both run and support arts organizations that want to bring about positive change.
The conversation will begin with a discussion between members of the North Adams Artist Impact Coalition facilitated by MCLA Chief Diversity Officer Christopher MacDonald-Dennis. Attendees will then split into smaller Zoom “breakout rooms” to discuss personal experiences with observing and interrupting racism and individual actions we can each take toward making the Northern Berkshires a welcome and safe place for all. For those unable to attend the conversation live, the session will be recorded for viewing at a later date.
BCRC and AIC recognizes that anti-racism is not easy work, but it is work that must begin with ourselves and must not lose momentum when the news cycle shifts focus. Artists and arts organizations, especially, are well positioned to affect tangible social change, both within and without. We invite you to join us in this call.