Special Announcement from our Managing Director
Dear IPAY Community,
As many of you may know, Chile has been in civil protest since October of this year. Due to these recent events, our colleagues on the South American continent had to cancel their bi-annual children's festival, FITA Chile. The Chilean people, led in part by the Mapuche indigenous group, protested for weeks over the months of October and November demanding their President make much needed social and economic change in the country.
Despite the unrest, I still made the journey to Santiago in late October. It was there that I met many of the artists who were both passionate about the movement but also disheartened at the loss of an opportunity to share their work with the world. I was overwhelmed by the passion of the young people, native populations, and activists who took to the streets every day. Their demands of the government reminded me very much of my own current experiences in the United States. Many local artists were still eager to share their work with the tiny group of delegates that arrived. Inside burned and scarred buildings, we convened a powerful community of artists and artist-activists. In no truer fashion could the point be made- art will always prevail in times of struggle.
In unity and in support of the artists of Chile and FITA Chile, I extended a special offer for the displaced artists to join us at IPAY's 2020 Showcase. The proposition was to provide a world stage for FITA Chile to replace the stage that they tragically lost due to the political unrest. I saw an opportunity not only to support a community experiencing loss but also an opportunity to build a bridge where only walls had previously existed.
Today, IPAY is excited to announce FITA Chile @ IPAY, a full day of showcases and spotlights from the South American continent. FITA Chile @ IPAY will take place on Sunday, January 26th, 2020 after the conclusion of IPAY's typical Showcase programming. Registration, logistics, and schedules will be confirmed in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I hope that those of you who have already planned to attend Showcase will extend your schedules to join us on this special day. Either way, please join me in welcoming our Chilean and South American colleagues to the upper hemisphere.
There are still difficult times ahead for Chileans with their sentiments being echoed by the people of Brazil and other countries all around the world. Today, however, we can rejoice in the fact that the arts have no boundaries and no borders. IPAY, as an international organization, is perfectly positioned to ensure that the borders between art and artists never close. I am excited by the future of our field and the future it will create for the youth of the world.
To all of my new South American colleagues, welcome to Philadelphia.