For arts organizations to grow, thrive, and support diverse participation, it is crucial to provide resources and support so that staff can gain a deeper understanding of the organization’s culture and power dynamics. Sometimes, getting to know yourself and the organization where you work requires shifting long-entrenched beliefs and systems.

Hosting conversations about privilege and racial and gendered power-dynamics can be challenging and difficult to navigate. Hiring facilitators and educators, who are trained in leading these conversations and whose work prioritizes social justice can be a key foundational step in changing institutional culture and creating more equitable working conditions.

Kiara Nagel

Kiara Nagel delivers training, facilitation, and consulting services to foster collaboration, grow healthy organizations, and support equitable community development. At the core of her diverse body of work is a dedication to ensuring those most affected are directly engaged in decision-making about how their places can be shaped, understood and represented. Kiara has contributed to many local, national and international initiatives focused on social justice and transformational change and trained and supported organizers, educators, and young people to be more effective and creative in their work. Her own active consulting practice draws on process design and facilitation, strategy, organizational and leadership development, culture and creativity work, racial justice, and sustainable social change principles.

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Shontina Vernon

Shontina is a theatre artist, filmmaker, director, and educator. Her work fuses performance, music, and multi-media in centering the narratives of traditionally marginalized communities. She is a recipient of the 2019 Creative Capital Award and a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellow for her work through Visionary Justice StoryLab addressing the impact of systemic oppression through media, storytelling and performance based healing practices. Shontina’s work champions the necessity of arts and culture to catalyze social change. As such, it has been recognized nationally and internationally for both its artistic merit and risk taking.

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