We made it to the end of 2020! (What a year to start an arts organization, amiright?)As you might imagine, we put on hold many of the things that we had hoped to accomplish in our first year. Despite the setbacks, we accomplished *so much* in laying the groundwork for the play, practice and shenanigans that will happen in our future. At this point, you may be asking yourself what the heck we’ve been up to over the course of the past year. Well, here’s a small snippet of it!Below you’ll find a summary of what each of our current committees have been working on in the past couple of months. We’d love to hear what you’re excited about and what you’d like to see more of! If there’s a committee or project you’d like to participate in, let us know!
And keep your eyes peeled for a community Town Hall this winter, where we’ll be sharing our vision and what we’ve created so far, and seeking co-collaborators to build on those dreams and make them a reality.
The official birth of our Program Committee is just around the corner! Although Spin Jam and FlowShop were adopted as Seattle Flow Arts Collective programs earlier this year (go to our calendar page for information on the wheres and whens) the plans we had for starting new programs in 2020 went out the window with COVID. As vaccinations begin to roll out, we’re ready to turn our eyes toward the future!
Keeping our core value of Inclusivity at the forefront of our minds, we’re beginning to formulate plans for sharing and teaching flow arts to members of communities that haven’t historically been represented within this art form, including people of color, youth, and older adults. Part of this planning is exploring parks and other public spaces that are already connected with those communities to make our art accessible and inviting to a more diverse group of people.
Do you have community outreach experience or connections to community-based organizations in Seattle that we might want to work with? Are you an experienced teacher or facilitator, or do you have experience working with youth or seniors? Get involved with SFAC’s programs by filling out our volunteer interest form or by emailing Arlene@SeattleFlowArts.Org!
The Fire Committee meets regularly to prepare for SFAC to host an ongoing community fire jam that is accessible to all who want to learn and spin fire safely. There is a lot that goes into preparing for this! So, the Fire Committee is getting in depth on topics including National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines and designing a Hands-On Fire Safety Course. If you would like to get involved or learn more about anything fire-related, contact Desert@SeattleFlowArts.Org.
Community Fire Jams
SFAC is building on the amazing history of Spinurn, a several-year long community fire jam in Seattle, and dreaming of a future with an ongoing, permitted, community fire jam in the city. Not only do we want a legal fire jam open to all who want to learn and spin fire safely, but we will create guidelines that explain the process for anyone else in the community who wants to obtain a fire performance permit. We are reviewing the city’s policies and preparing to work with city officials to advocate for reasonable and safe policies pertaining to fire spinning. This advocacy will enable us to obtain permitting and host community fire events in the future.
Hands-On Fire Safety Course
The Fire Committee is developing a Hands-On Fire Safety Course with the intention of holding in-person trainings, when we can do so safely. We are designing the course for our local fire community, so that when people come spin at our community fire jams, or when they spin other places, they know how to do so safely. The course will cover safety concepts, best practices, and practical application through a mixture of demonstration, lecture, and hands on activities. Two Flow Arts Institute (FAI) Certified Fire Safety Instructors are participating in designing this new fire safety course for the community.
NFPA 160 Chapter 14 “Fire Performers”
The Fire Committee is reading and discussing the newly created section for Fire Performers in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 160 Chapter 14 (2021 Edition). Anyone can view an online copy of this document by registering an email address with the NFPA, it’s worth a read. NFPA 160: Standard for the Use of Flame Effects Before an Audience.
The Marketing Committee’s main focus right now is social media! We’re in the middle of promoting our end of year Giving Campaign and cooking up some fun ideas to continue to build virtual community in the coming months.
We’re especially excited about having a blog on the new website, and are dreaming up fun things to write about. Do you have a topic you’d like to hear about? Would you like to be a guest writer for the blog? Let us know!
If you have ideas for fun ways to connect using social media, have interest in flexing or strengthening your graphic design or writing skills, or have an interesting idea for our blog, please reach out to Arlene Smith directly at Arlene@SeattleFlowarts.Org!
Finance / Development Committee
The finance committee is poring over this year’s numbers to create the budget for 2021, to be approved by the Board of Directors in January. Given the uncertainty about how 2021 will play out, developing budgets is even more challenging than usual!
While we don’t know what programs will be possible next year, we have already started two projects that will bring flexibility and sustainability to the SFAC budget: direct contributions from donors, and grants from the city and other entities. We are seeking volunteers who can help with grant writing. Please email Kat@SeattleFlowArts.Org if you want to help out!
The Governance committee handles issues relating to policies, procedures, the nonprofit board, diversity/equity/inclusion, and more generally, setting the course and guiding the culture of SFAC and the larger community. Currently, the governance committee is planning out its work for 2021. Major projects include:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Historically, flow arts have often not been accessible to people in communities of color or those with disabilities, and has tended to be dominated by individuals around the same age, usually people in their 20’s and early 30’s. We are investigating concrete steps that we can take to make SFAC activities more accessible and equitable for all. Seattle is at a cultural crossroads, and it’s a great time to begin fulfilling the desire for SFAC to be an anti-racist arts organization with actions and deeds. The next steps for this project is creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement and a roadmap for how to bring the flow arts to a broader, more diverse group of people. Please reach out to Hello@SeattleFlowArts.Org if you’d like to join the conversation.
As an arts nonprofit, Seattle Flow Arts Collective has the privilege and responsibility to develop and implement a long-term strategic plan to help us realize our mission of spreading the flow. The strategic planning process is how we reconcile our wildest flow arts hopes and dreams (a studio space? paid staff? a prop library? teaching in schools? a gala show?) with the realities of budgets, staff, logistics, planning, and goals. The outcome for this project is a multi-year Strategic Plan document that we use to guide our day-to-day decision-making and program development.
Due to the importance and long-term consequences of the strategic planning process, we want to ensure that a diverse set of voices is represented in the process. Currently, we are forming a strategic plan working group with the goal of starting the work in early 2021. If you’d like to participate in strategic planning, please reach out to BJ@SeattleFlowArts.Org.
For many years, the flow arts community in Seattle has subsisted on volunteered time, donated resources, and a beloved tip jar. As Seattle Flow Arts Collective has come online in the past year, it has become evident that our big dreams for the community cannot be realized without a funded Executive Director staff position. We are beginning to investigate the details of hiring an executive director to ensure the sustainability of the organization and support those who carry out its work. There are many details to be sorted out including: job description, funding sources, payroll, insurance, conflict of interest, and so on. If you have a knack for HR or nonprofits, please get in touch with BJ@SeattleFlowArts.Org.
Code of Conduct and Consent
After months of intensive work, a group of flow artists finalized the Code of Conduct for activities and spaces hosted by Seattle Flow Arts Collective. The response to this work has been excellent–and our Code of Conduct has already been adopted by other local flow arts groups. However, a Code of Conduct is only as good as its implementation. Continuing this work, the Governance committee is developing a protocol for receiving reports of harm or consent violations within our community and offering support toward healing of all involved parties when possible. If you are interested in helping to build a safe and inclusive community through this work, contact Arlene@SeattleFlowarts.Org.[/cs_content_seo]