CGAS RISER Found Festival

Anti-Racism Commitment

Common Ground Arts Society recognizes injustice and racism are deeply entrenched in our society. We acknowledge that the current oppressive systems of power advance non-racialized groups. We recognize that silence makes us complicit in these oppressive systems.

Black Lives Matter.

Change must come. Change starts with the individual, it starts in community, it starts with us. We commit to being part of that change.

The work we do will be ongoing. We commit to doing this work within our organization and in collaboration with the greater Edmonton arts community.

We commit to:

  • providing and requiring anti-oppression training for our board and staff;
  • developing and implementing an anti-racism policy that all board members, staff, artists, and volunteers must commit to;
  • increasing the representation of Black and Indigenous artists in our programming;
  • changing our recruitment practices to improve BIPoC representation on our staff, on our board, and in our volunteer program;
  • developing an organizational succession plan that invites BIPoC artists and administrators into the core of our organization;
  • working to secure funding for a Black, Indigenous, PoC emerging artist in residence program, including paid mentorship from established BIPoC artists;
  • offering ongoing mentorship to BIPoC artists, technicians, and arts administrators;
  • listening to and uplifting the voices of BIPoC artists in our community;
  • continuing to educate ourselves around anti-racism practices; and
  • implementing these commitments into our organizational strategic plan, including timelines and accountability measures.

Below is a list of resources we have found helpful in our ongoing education. We will continue to update this list as we learn and grow.

We find ourselves in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ) on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Nakota, Blackfoot, Dene, Saulteaux, Metis, and other indigenous peoples who have made this place home long before we settled here. For thousands of years, people have gathered here to share in story, community, and creative exchange.

We find ourselves thankful: thankful to play a small part in that long-standing tradition, a tradition carried on the shoulders of so many creators, builders, dreamers, agitators, and makers who came before us, and who will come long after us.

We find ourselves inspired: inspired by an evolving community of artists who passionately spark the magic that manifests when we surrender ourselves to the long summer days of this northern place.

We find ourselves grateful: grateful to everyone who rallies around this tiny but mighty Festival — the artists, the volunteers, the staff, the audience, the board, the mentors, the partners and sponsors, the funders, the believers. Found Festival exists because of you.