2021 GIA Conference
Plurality, Power, and Belonging
San Juan | Nov 7 – 10

Preconference Events

Virtual Preconferences

Virtual preconference sessions will be offered on Sunday, November 7 from 2:30-5:30 PM AST via Zoom Meeting. Anyone who has already registered for the virtual conference is eligible to purchase a ticket for a virtual preconference offered as part of the preconference day. The purchase of a conference ticket does not include access to the preconference events on Sunday, which includes virtual preconference sessions.

2:30 pm-5:30 pm AST

This individual artist virtual preconference workshop will explore how funders can be advocates for artists in reconciliation from systemic harm in the form of wealth building and reparations. The session will be virtual in order to expand access to conference attendees who are joining both on-site and remotely.

The Support for Individual Artist Committee will join the GIA team in the development of the day’s agenda.

2:30 pm-5:30 pm AST

In spring of this year, GIA released Solidarity Not Charity: Arts & Culture Grantmaking in the Solidarity Economy, a report that explores how the grantmaking community can support culture-workers and artists through an increasingly just economy. “Creatives are ‘going back to the future’ to practices of shared livelihoods rooted in cultural traditions,” report authors Caroline Woolard and Natalia Linares remind us. In collaboration with artists who contributed to the report and GIA members Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) and Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), this workshop will amplify the foundations and current labor of artists and cultural workers anchoring the solidarity economy. Participants will learn about the challenges and impacts of the four-year ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, CCI ChangeMakers, a cohort-learning leadership support program, and imagine what a cooperative center for the study of cultural liberation look like.

Join us for a dynamic discussion and deep dive into these emerging case studies with actionable recommendations for how to invest and support BIPOC creatives who are innovating models for self-determination and community wealth.

In-Person Sessions and Tours

Preconference sessions and cultural tours will be offered on Sunday, November 7 in full-day and half-day programs. For times, length, and event descriptions, see individual event details below. Anyone who has already registered for the in-person conference is eligible to purchase a ticket for a preconference session or cultural tour offered as part of the preconference events. The purchase of a conference ticket does not include access to the preconference events on Sunday.

9:00 am-5:30 pm AST

Puerto Rico is no stranger to extreme weather, however in recent years the devastating impact of more hurricanes, more earthquakes, rising tides, and inadequate infrastructure has provided compounding challenges for communities. At the forefront of community recovery and response, working artists and cultural organizers have been building power and self-determination through intersectional justice movements. In this full day preconference session, participants will gather off-site in an immersive day of co-learning about climate and economic justice practices led by emergent artists cooperatives and community self-management organizers who work at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ideology.

Join us for deep exploration into these communities of practice and learn from first-hand experience how artists and community members organize for transformation of economic, environmental, and racial systems on the island and amongst the diaspora.

9:00 am-12:30 pm AST

This individual artist focused preconference session will delve into the collaborative work of funders who have situated their grantmaking work at the intersections of cultural preservation, recovery and resilience for the Island’s cultural ecosystem, and creative approaches to supporting individual artists. In collaboration with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Flamboyan Arts Fund, this preconference session will focus on case studies that illustrate how funders in Puerto Rico and the continental US can collaboratively mobilize financial and other resources to create new streams of support for individual artists.

Focusing on Letras Boricuas – a first of its kind fellowship for emerging and established Puerto Rican writers from across the archipelago and the diaspora – participants will have the opportunity to learn about establishing new funding opportunities, how the initiative came together and the challenges we faced along the way, the rigorous and collaborative program design process, navigating power dynamics, centering antiracist practices and language, balancing the unique needs of artistic communities in Puerto Rico and in the diaspora, bilingual communications, how to create space for each party to bring its expertise to the table, and how to translate experience from the continental US into the Puerto Rican context.

1:30 pm-5:00 pm AST

How can funders invest in building a more just future via the narrative change ecosystem? In 2019, the Surdna Foundation launched a national partnership with key leaders from across the narrative change ecosystem. Under the stewardship of the Center for Cultural Power and nearly 100 change leaders, this network is building the essential bridge(s) between justice movements leaders and the cultural sector. And, on the Island, Puerto Rican artists and cultural leaders are building and shaping movements to visibilize, amplify, and positively represent Afro-Caribbean communities by transforming the narratives and realities of Black communities.

Join us for a dynamic discussion and deep dive into these emerging case studies with actionable recommendations for how to invest in building a more just future via the narrative change ecosystem.

9:00 am-12:30 pm AST

Who are the Puerto Rican people? What is the Puerto Rican experience about? How does it represent us? The art of the Island and the diaspora has been speaking to these questions for centuries. How should cultural institutions contribute to collective narratives? To collective histories? To advocacy and social policy? The museums and exhibition spaces of the Island continue to engage with these questions today.

Join us for a half day cultural tour through Santurce, where participants will visit several local museums and cultural institutions, to learn about their approaches to multiple histories, visiblizing plurality, and how each engages with their charge to represent Puerto Rican culture.

1:30 pm-5:00 pm AST

As many communities and neighborhoods come together to heal and recover from the inundating health, economic, political, and environmental crises facing the Island, artists have emerged as central advocates and activists for community self-management and resilience. Anchored in the diversity that characterizes Puerto Rican identity and environment, grassroots community arts collectives are shaping new futures that center solidarity and thriving.

Join us for a half day cultural tour through the San Juan neighborhoods of El Gandul and La Perla to learn about the embedded practices of these grassroots cultural communities.