2019 GIA Conference
Cultural Intersections
Denver, CO  |  October 13–16

Preconference Sessions

Code Switching: The making of home with immigrant artists

Sunday, October 13, 9am-4pm

The notion of home is unequivocally situational. Constant and transitory, its meaning is tethered to the ebb and flow of political policy, social practice, technological advancements, global economies, geographic boundaries, and human rights. How do we, as an arts and culture workforce, co-create conditions that are supportive of artists whose ‘political home status’ is perceived as transitory, illegal, migratory, or temporary? How do we support artists who experience home as an immigrant, a refugee, or a dreamer? How do we, as funders and policy influencers, tease out misinformation so we can confidently and humanely address issues affecting our immigrant artists and their families? We do this together, and we ask a lot of questions.

In this preconference, we will explore the idea of code switching. However, not entirely in the traditional sense of the term code-switching, where an individual must forgo language or dialect in order to assimilate into a dominant culture, but also “switching the code,” or dialogue, funders have about immigrant artists.

Join us as we learn about the innate diversity of immigrant experiences while bridging gateways for reciprocity and support systems. Grantmakers will connect with artists, organizers, and various stakeholders working across real and imagined borders. They will facilitate a dialogue on how to support artists and guide us through a day of code switching to address the needs of immigrant arts communities, and how funders can be more competent allies, responsible collaborators, and agents of change.

Philanthropic Imaginaries: Creating the funding landscape we need

Sunday, October 13, 9am-4pm

Taking inspiration from Edgar Villanueva in his field-shaking call to philanthropy to lead with the idea that wealth can be used to interrupt inequity and serve African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities, we call upon the cultural grantmaking community to imagine a new philanthropic future. We believe funders can and must play an important role in dismantling the array of social and economic injustices faced by ALAANA individuals by working against racism and towards racial justice. We believe funders can and must actively re-envision the landscape and practice of funding that can enable equity and justice.

In this preconference, we will use Villanueva’s Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance as the jumping-off point for an exploration of investment in culture toward racial justice. We will ask, what models of funding exist which are marked by self-determination for the communities they seek to support? What is different about these models? What sustains them? What has sustained in the anti-philanthropy model of funding? Who has created funding practices that do NOT conform to capitalist paradigms?

Join us for a day of presentations and discussions about different funding models and how they support communities, as well as generative workshops to intentionally reimagine and re-design how wealth, opportunity, and self-determination manifest for communities of color. Together, participants will conceptualize and embody how they can adapt philanthropic models of self-determination for their own contexts to try when they return to their home communities.

Culture as Civic Practice: Exploring Denver’s civic and cultural communities

Sunday, October 13, 8am-4pm

In communities and neighborhoods that are facing an obstacle course of change – infrastructure development, displacement, immigration/migration, homelessness, and food security to name a few – artists, cultural and community organizations, and local leaders come together to imagine and build healthy and thriving communities. Inspired by The Bach Project’s Day of Action from Yo-Yo Ma, which began in Denver in August 2018, we will explore how Denver’s cultural community uses connection to create greater civic commons across the city, specifically centered on Denver’s most vulnerable residents.

Visits with local cultural community leaders and organizations will take attendees to several neighborhoods throughout Denver, connecting with the historic African American and Mexican American communities, refugee and migrant communities, and student and local leaders. Learn and explore in these central neighborhoods alongside local cultural organizers and artists:

Join us and special guest, Yo-Yo Ma, as we are invited into a look at Denver’s efforts to build a shared future through cultural connection and civic practice.