The last few months have been hard. The last few days have been worse.
Our hearts break for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others who have been murdered by an oppressive system. We share the pain of communities across our country, already struggling with the pandemic, now consumed by rage and mourning. We stand with those seeking justice and change.
We have a mission, “To inspire people of all ages and abilities to discover the wonder of glass arts,” and a vision, “To become the premiere glass school in the Southwest.” These goals, this philosophy, guide us every day in our decision making, helping us determine the courses we offer, the agencies with whom we partner, and the strategic planning that moves us forward.
The third, and perhaps most important, pillar of our organizational structure is our values. We don’t talk about them as often (perhaps not often enough), but it feels important to share them now:
- Artistic excellence – We foster an environment where students and working artists alike can grow artistically, creatively, and professionally.
- Teamwork – Both within our studios and within our community, our staff nurtures an atmosphere of collaboration and communication.
- Inclusion & Diversity – We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We demonstrate a commitment to diversity in staff, volunteers and audiences, including full participation in programs, policy formulation, and decision-making. We create an environment where all feel welcome.
- Community – Sonoran Glass School is an integral part of Tucson’s arts community. We contribute to a dynamic arts landscape and we advocate for a robust creative economy.
To date, our work around diversity, equity, inclusion, and access has been centered around K-12 youth in our community and our programs in Title I schools. It’s a start, but it’s not enough. But by centering these values, using them as a framework, I believe we can do more.
Sonoran Glass School will play an active role in addressing and repairing the inequities in our community. Do I believe that art has the power to heal? Absolutely. Do I believe that art alone is enough? Not at all. But I do believe that in conjunction with education, intention, and action, art, with its ability to amplify diverse voices and opinions, can be part of the solution.
I invite you to join us. We’re hard at work making changes to our programs, our policies, and our physical spaces to best serve you when we re-open, and we want to hear any questions or concerns that you might have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly: email@example.com.
Be well. We hope to see you soon.