by ILI Fellow Alum Theo E.J. Wilson
Get a first-hand perspective on the ILI experience from this Year 2 ILI Fellow alum.
“Adventure often announces itself with a whisper; the magnificent disguised as the mundane” - Unknown.
When I saw ILI alum, Bobby LeFebre, post the open call for submissions to the Intercultural Leadership Institute, I almost scrolled right past it. I thought it was for LatinX activists only. The opportunity looked great, but having the utmost respect for the culture, I didn’t want to infringe. He quickly clarified that it was open to far more than just LatinX applicants, and for me to take the chance and apply. I felt silly for not reading further into the details. We had a good laugh, and I applied.
Due to uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis, we are re-evaluating the dates for ILI Year 3 intensive convenings. We are still eager to hear from artists, culture bearers and other arts professionals while we take these steps:
We will continue to notify you of new developments as they emerge.
We are excited to release the interest form guidelines for the third cohort of the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI), a collaborative program of Alternate ROOTS, First Peoples Fund, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) and PA’I Foundation.
As leaders of these organizations, we have grown together, built trust with one another time over time and developed a shared analysis of the need for a leadership program of, by and for the artists and culture bearers in our communities. ILI is the result of our collaborative effort and we invite you to spread the word and encourage great potential participants to submit interest for the 2020-21 cohort. Thank you!
Michelle Ramos, Alternate ROOTS Executive Director
Lori Pourier, First Peoples Fund President & CEO
Maria López DeLeón, NALAC President & CEO
Vicky Takamine, PA’I Foundation Executive Director
Carlton Turner, Sipp Culture (founding member of ILI Partners Team)
Staying Healthy, Secure & Connected
During this rapidly changing time, the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) Partners & Facilitators want to share important information related to our dedication to arts & culture leaders and intercultural connection.
"Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away."
- Frida Kahlo
Robert Martinez is an ILI Fellow Alum from 2018/19. We caught up with him to hear about what he's doing now.
As the new year proceeds, and as I look towards a year of arts, culture, and all that those things encompass, I move forward knowing there is still much more to do. Combining social justice and creativity has been a testament to my relentless fire to form relationships and co conspire as a change agent.
Drawing the Ensō by Shin Yu Pai, ILI Fellow Alum
I chose the title Ensō for my forthcoming book because it expresses both the practice of trying to make a thing perfect, and by implication the possibility of imperfection. Symbolic of the Japanese word for “circle” and evocative of Zen Buddhist practice, I wanted a name and a shape that could hold the various parts of my work as an artist.
In May 2019, ILI Partner the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) hosted the final of three place-based intensives for ILI Fellows in San Antonio, TX. The five-day leadership immersion brought together the second cohort of ILI Fellows for shared learning, personal exchange and to be immersed in a living Mexican-American culture grounded in indigeneity.
Welcome Message at ILI San Antonio by María López De León, President and CEO, NALAC
On behalf of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), I welcome you to San Antonio! We are proud to be hosting the Intercultural Leadership Institute as NALAC celebrates its 30th Anniversary; three decades of supporting Latinx arts and culture from our base on San Antonio’s historic WestSide.
Evonne Gallardo is the ILI Host Facilitator for San Antonio, the location for the third and final of three place-based intensives for the ILI Fellows. She shared her thoughts about the vision for what an intercultural framework and methodology might look like and how her own understanding of interculturality influenced her work at ILI San Antonio.
Get a glimpse into the ILI intensive experience through this day-by-day look.
In a partnership connected to the great cultural diversity of the Twin Cities region, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) joined with ILI Partners, Facilitators and Fellows to create a pre-conference learning experience prior to the 2019 AFTA National Convention in Minneapolis.
In January 2019, ILI Partner PAʻI Foundation hosted the second of three place-based intensives for ILI Fellows in Hawaiʻi. The five-day leadership immersion brought together the second cohort of ILI Fellows for shared learning, personal exchange and direct experience with the true history and sacred places in Native Hawaiʻi.
Mehanaokala Hind is the ILI Host Facilitator for Hawaiʻi, the location for the second of three place-based intensives for the ILI Fellows. She shared her thoughts about preparing to engage Fellows in Native Hawaiian experiences, encouraging their best, and facilitating healing cultural practices.
ILI Fellow muthi reed shares their thoughts and photos from ILI Hawaiʻi.
Aloha. Mahalo. ‘Āina. Hawai’i. Land of sacred relationships thank you for welcoming us home to sovereign sensibility. Home is….. feelings and places of agreement, acceptance, awareness…. healing… sources of purpose….. kinships built from knowing and working side by side. Home is shared between us. Home is complex and difficult and maybe a myth. Regardless, the idea of kinship calls us lifetime after lifetime, in the people we meet, the conflicts we experience, the foods we savor and the places and spaces where we are held.
Get a glimpse into the ILI intensive experience through this day-by-day look.
ILI Fellow liza garza and ILI Fellow Alum Eli Lakes form the mother/son musical duo GROW. In 2018/2019, they embarked on a tour of “living room shows” - connecting with like-minded communities to share their original music of Love and Healing. liza shared her experience, thoughts about interculturality and what she holds most dear as meaningful and valuable.
These days, it seems easier to talk online than in person. ILI Alumni Fellow, Shey Rivera Ríos, is trying to change that. Shey Rivera Ríos isan artist and former artistic director at AS220, an internationally renowned arts center in Providence, RI. Rivera uses the mediums of performance, video, installation, and narrative to produce works exploring gender, family history, and colonization in Puerto Rico. After eight years at AS220, Rivera accepted a new role as Director of Inclusive Regional Development at MIT CoLab, in the Urban Studies and Planning department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS) recently had their 21st Annual Funda Fest: A Celebration of Black Storytelling which took place from Westerly to Woonsocket, Peace Dale to Providence on January 26 to February 3rd. ILI Fellow Valerie Tutson who is the Creative Director of RIBS and Fund Fest founder wanted a space for storytellers to share, teach and entertain with stories from the African Diaspora.
ILI Fellow Kyoung Park guest blogs on Arts Leadership and the future of his own practice.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Arts Leadership. Last year, I realized Kyoung’s Pacific Beat has outgrown its current limits and that I need to re-imagine its future for the long-term. It was easy for me to imagine what we’d strive for creatively, but I was stumped by what it’d look like to paint that picture in numbers and what it’d take to make it happen. I think of my mentor, Lee Breuer, who started as a playwright and director, and did not return to his creative writing until his 70’s, having lived a life in the theater teaching and directing. I think of Abe Rybeck, who reached out during a moment of crisis to tell me that he, too, started as an artist and then spent a lifetime building an institution.
ILI Fellow Kahōkū Lindsey-Asing helped promote “Ōlelo Hawaiʻi Month” in February that celebrates and encourages the use and normalization of Hawaiian language. Here is his perspective and experience from this year’s activities:
“...for me, every month is about celebrating, encouraging, and normalizing Hawaiian language. ”
In September 2018, ILI Partner First Peoples Fund hosted the first of three place-based intensives for ILI Fellows in Lakota Territory/South Dakota. The five-day leadership immersion brought together the second cohort of ILI Fellows for shared learning, personal exchange and direct experience with the true history and sacred places in Lakota Territory.
“This work is so important,” said First Peoples Fund President Lori Pourier. “The partners who came together to start ILI have long term relationships, but we need to widen the circle and provide space for other arts & cultural leaders who voices are an important part of the larger story.”