At IDA, we’ve had a beautiful beginning to our year. This quarter we’ve welcomed a new team of 11 student fellows, who have shared with us their artistic crafts and visions for the program. We opened the year with our annual Open House, where we shared music and joy with musician Calina Lawrence, whose music reminded us to work towards a more just future for our younger generations. For our class “Conjure Art 101: Performances of Ritual, Spirituality, and Decolonial Black Feminist Magic,” we had guest speakers Dohee Lee and Marvin K. White teach us how performing ritual can be a healing, grounding, and guiding force in our lives and bodies. In the class “Liberation through Land: Organic Farming and Racial Justice,” we had Kiyan Williams teach us how they shape earth to forge connection to place, self, and ancestry.
In an evening filled with musical medicine, our students jammed with R&B musician Malia and her band, who had just released their music video “Sweetwater” that same day. After her performance, our community of students continued to improvise music late into the night. Last week alone, we also held a concert with musician Rudy Kalma and an artist talk with Joey Montoya, owner of an indigenous fashion line called Urban Native Era. To close that week, we exchanged ideas with Yvette DeChavez with her “Decolonizing Your Syllabus” workshop, which made space for us to reimagine a more just educational system.
We are warmed and grateful to be bringing the quarter to a close with an intimate DJ workshop with IDA alum Adorie Howard, who uses mixing as a spiritual practice. We thank everyone involved in helping us make this quarter a beautiful one. We thank all of our visiting artists, scholars, and community members for sharing their knowledge with us and with each other.