The year 2020 brought into sharp focus the inequities in our social and cultural world, specifically concerning labor and the inaccessibility of our cultural offerings. While we look towards rebuilding and restructuring our institutions and nonprofits to serve our communities better, the importance of having our programmatic slate offered digitally to build community in our region and beyond has never been made more evident.
With the onset of COVID-19, we curators, writers, educators, artists, and cultural workers have worked tirelessly to sustain our cultural ecosystem virtually: translating public programs, exhibitions, and texts to digital platforms. Many of these digital offerings now traverse linguistic and auditory barriers, creating a more equitable, accessible experience that was indeed possible before, but not utilized. In our current moment, we can build community virtually in a way that was not possible before. We can now listen to artists, see exhibitions, and attend panels outside of our respective cities in the virtual sphere, allowing for dialogue and collaboration to happen in more organic ways while also de-centralizing the hierarchical art centers on the coasts of the United States. In this way, audiences and other cultural workers can now recognize, contribute to, learn from, and celebrate the excellent work done in smaller cities—Phoenix, San Diego, Austin, and New Haven, among others—that have historically bolstered BIPOC artists. A nationwide dialogue, specifically regarding Latinx art and artists, is now possible in a manner that was never before. In this way, I look forward to our bright future working and growing together.