Community Town Hall 2021

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Seattle Flow Arts Collective held its first Community Town Hall on February 20th, 2021! The virtual event featured an important dialogue with the community on topics including future fire jams, diversity and inclusion, the work of the board and various committees, and community accountability. Thank you to everyone for giving us feedback during the event. You’ll find a brief summary of what was discussed below, and you can watch the recording here. We are always accepting feedback, so please email us at anytime.
The meeting started with the introduction of our new (and very first) Executive Director, Arlene Smith! This was followed by introductions of the Board of Directors. Arlene began by reviewing the Seattle Flow Arts Collective Mission, Vision, and Values statements. The mission, vision and values create the compass for SFAC: all of our endeavors are derived from or connect back to these words and ideas. As an organization, we plan to review these statements on a regular basis so that we can ensure they resonate with our community.
The next topic was a discussion of the significant diversity and equity issues within local and regional flow arts communities. While we do a great job with gender diversity and other areas, we still have a lot of growth to do around racial diversity within our organizational leadership, as well as at our events and in our community at large. This is work that we will continue to prioritize at every turn, always keeping an eye toward how we can actively practice anti-racism. It matters.
We also discussed issues around consent and accountability for harm that occurs within our community. Rachel Drake, non-profit consultant and consent guru, shared the process and results of our Code of Conduct group that met throughout Summer 2020. The end result is the SFAC Code of Conduct. Rachel’s next project with us is to develop an internal accountability program called CARE – Community Accountability, Reintegration, and Education. The work of the CARE team will be to help keep our community safe by promoting healthy consent practices and offering support to individuals who experience harm within our community spaces. It’s work that is often messy and complicated, but we believe it will help our community thrive.
Each of our committee chairs shared their current projects and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Our Fire Arts Committee is preparing to teach fire safety and host a community fire jam again, once it’s safe to do so. We’re also getting excited about developing programs to share flow arts with kids in the Seattle area! These committees are where the work happens to make all the magic we bring to the world. Whether you are interested in Program, Marketing, Finance, Fire Arts, Governance, or Development, reach out to us at to add your own magic to the mix.
We hosted the town hall to be as inclusive as we can be and to practice transparency as an organization. While there’s still plenty of work to be done, we’ve also already accomplished quite a lot. That’s what we heard from those who attended, and we also heard a lot of excitement and ideas buzzing about where we can go from here as a group. The board of directors is already following the threads on topics like what geographic area we serve (currently Puget Sound region) and how we can step up our efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community. Look out for more updates from us on these topics and others in the coming weeks!
Again – thank you so much to everyone who attended, supported, or was there in spirit. We can’t do any of this without you! Here’s to all the fun we’ve had so far and all the joy that’s yet to come.
On behalf of the Board of Directors:BJ Burg, President, Board ChairArlene Smith, Executive Director

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