One of my projects while at the helm of SFAI was to implement yearlong thematic programing to address pertinent questions facing diverse regional and global communities. The idea was that by hosting residencies for creative practitioners, fostering partnerships with cultural and educational organizations, and integrating social entrepreneurial and education initiatives, SFAI would aid in transforming Santa Fe into a hub for positive social change that reflected the greatest needs of our times.
The inaugural thematic residency was Food Justice. From July 2014 through June 2015, SFAI encouraged creative minds to come together and examine the territory of food justice. Together, we asked how can we use diverse creative practices to confront inherent social, cultural and economic problems in our food system? Further, how can we bring together insights from creative fields, environmental sciences, sustainable agriculture, critical theory, and food studies to have local, national, and international impact?
SFAI’s second thematic residency focused on Immigration / Emigration. From September 2015 through May 2016, SFAI and its community partners will explore several questions: Who immigrates/emigrates and why? How do the journeys of migrants contribute to who we are as a collective community? What happens when diverse communities come together with local and global advocates, activists, and policy makers to explore alternative models, narratives, projects, and interventions relating to the complex terrain of immigration and emigration? How can SFAI cultivate participatory discourse between invested local stakeholders and creative practitioners that examines complexities and inequities in current and historic immigration systems in the United States?