Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts is more than important, it is critical to our field, and our country particularly now, when we are so deeply divided by issues of race, homophobia, Islamophobia, immigration/migration, and class. — Keryl McCord, Operations Director, Alternate ROOTS

The Millay Colony, like many arts and culture organizations we admire, is actively working to create programming and opportunities that address the particular and urgent challenges of the current socio-political moment. In this vein, we are pleased to announce The Alliance Program, a new Millay initiative dedicated to building partnerships within and across the arts, and to promoting and supporting the full inclusion in our programs of artists from the widest array of communities, ethnicities, genders and places of origin. Building on our longtime commitment to inclusion, this program looks to foster meaningful dialogue about identity and community. Specifically, we seek to expand ideas about art-making through the sharing of experiences and ideas to provide alternatives to and disruptions of dominant cultural paradigms.

A key component of this program is The Sanctuary Series of workshops that bring together artists, people working in the healing arts, and educators in collaborative sessions that ask participants to creatively imagine desired cultural and community outcomes as well as their role within those outcomes. Held in New York City and in Hudson, NY, these 2-3 hour workshops are centered on writing and art-making as creative acts that can exert social, political, and cultural influence. .

The series begins with poet, activist, and Occupy Wall Street Librarian Betsy Fagin leading Disentangling – Disaster Has Come from the Outside. Don’t Give Up Hope on June 3 in Manhattan’s East Village. This creative resistance writing workshop includes guided meditation and writing exercises “to gain focus and effectiveness…developing (resistance) strategies of self-care and cultivating awareness of our interdependence using writing as our vehicle.” Fagin will draw on her deep commitment to creating social justice through conscious, sustainable change (personal & political) to guide participants.

We will also offer a music composition workshop with John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions) in July, and Creating Art, Creating Change with Kavita Das in September. More information is at our workshop page here.

We are buoyed in our commitment by the boldness of our namesake, Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first female to win the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and an outspoken activist who protested on the front lines of the causes in which she believed. Thank you, Edna. And thank you, readers, artists, supporters, and makers. We truly are in this together.

Edna walks the walk!

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