It is with ineffable sadness and regret that the planning committee is sharing this letter to announce that we will not be moving forward with next week’s artist-run gathering, Lands to Travel Through. We will be honouring all of our financial commitments to scheduled presenters and staff, and will be issuing refunds to those who have registered for the gathering.
This difficult decision was made in the context of calls for accountability within an ongoing community conflict. Curators and artists have withdrawn from the gathering because of our untimely and insufficient communications that have resulted in a lack of transparency. We’ve struggled to understand what our role was or should have been with regard to supporting those directly involved in conflict, and we’ve continually found ourselves in dissensus regarding possible forms and avenues of accountability; yet we continued to move our work forward without addressing this. The impact of these decisions is that trust has been compromised, and our ability to support artists and those in attendance has been jeopardized. We are so sorry.
Because we must navigate complex layers of accountability in this situation, we have reached out for help; we are committing to a facilitated accountability process with Xochitl Sandoval, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to better understand what accountability looks like both within this circumstance and in our broader work, while also supporting healing. We are currently having facilitated internal conversations. We also would like to invite community—participants, registrants, partners—to take part in conversations with us as part of the accountability process. Please visit this link if you would like to schedule a time to meet with us and Xochitl from August 3 - 8, 2021. During this initial phase of the accountability process, we do not yet have answers or solutions regarding this conflict; anyone who has immediate questions or needs with regard to this can reach out directly to Xochitl, who can also answer any further questions regarding the accountability process; ze can be reached at email@example.com.
Lands to Travel Through Planning Committee
April Dean, SNAP (Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists)
Areum Kim, Stride Gallery
Michelle Schultz, Latitude 53
Natasha Chaykowski, The Bows
Su Ying Strang, The New Gallery