Our mission is to create an internationally renowned festival in New Haven of the highest quality, with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders, attracting and engaging a broad and diverse audience, celebrating and building community, and advancing economic development.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas stands in solidarity with Black and Brown communities and other groups who are targeted and abused by unjust systems of oppression. We support all movements working to decenter white voices and dismantle white supremacy. We are actively seeking to dismantle systematic racism, and we raise our voices with those in our community who are already engaged in this vital work. We commit to working alongside you to create transformative change in New Haven and in our global community.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas recognizes that solidarity is more than just words, and in our commitment to anti-racism we pledge to take action to decenter white voices and dismantle white supremacy. We vow to acknowledge what we do not yet know, to continue learning, and to facilitate a channel of direct communication with our communities to ensure that we are held accountable in this vital work. On a systemic level, we are continuously revisiting, acting on, and adding to the public commitments we originally outlined in 2020 and our commitment to Together New Haven’s Arts for Anti-Racism Pledge we also signed that year. We will provide regular updates on our progress on this page.
In July 2020, the Festival signed onto Together New Haven’s Arts for Anti-Racism Pledge, an initiative by the City of New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture, and Tourism to “amplify voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in arts and cultural organizations.” In order to become more anti-racist, the Festival pledges to make these changes:
CULTURE: To change our internal culture to one that actively amplifies BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) voices, encourages open and productive discourse on race and racism, and is aware of and addresses racism when it happens.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: To acknowledge that there are diverse communities which have been untapped by our organization; and to actively counter this by seeking out and providing a space for art focused on cultural pride, racial justice, civil rights, and other issues which are important and relevant to BIPOC communities.
POLICY & PRACTICE: To review our policies to identify and dismantle any unjust policies and practices that create barriers for BIPOC; this involves respect for BIPOC, recruiting, promoting, and empowering BIPOC for leadership roles in the body responsible for organizational oversight (i.e. board of directors), and committing to a JEDI statement (Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) around which to build policy and programming.
ART: To acknowledge the barriers that have led to BIPOC artists being vastly underrepresented in the arts; and to actively counter this by employing and presenting work(s) by more BIPOC artists.
ACCESSIBILITY: To offer programming that is more accessible to BIPOC, which may include adjusting ticket and/or admission price, format, schedule, and/or venue, in addition to content.
PARTICIPATE: To change our mentality from doing for the community to partnering with the community; this involves offering more “participatory” programming that directly involves diverse community members and allows them an interactive role in artistic and cultural activities.
HISTORY: To research and be aware of the historical and social context of the programming and the impact it may have on BIPOC communities; and to let this research and awareness inform programmatic decision-making.
We are currently updating our three major areas of focus in our ongoing commitment to dismantling white supremacy culture in our organization and in our community. Please check this page for updates later this month.