THIS IS ILI
The Intercultural Leadership Institute is a year-long intensive leadership experience for artists, culture bearers and other arts practitioners.
ILI is a collaborative program of Alternate ROOTS, First Peoples Fund, National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) , PA’I Foundation, Sipp Culture, First Alaskans Institute, and The International Association of Blacks in Dance. The effort grew out of our direct experiences as leaders of these founding cultural organizations. We often found that many personal and professional leadership programs emphasized dominant cultural norms, modes of learning and social approaches that didn’t match our commitment to cultural equity and change-making in our own communities.
ILI’s “intercultural” approach emphasizes overlapping experiences, shared spaces and mutual
accountability – and seeks to challenge dominant social norms while honoring differences of histories, traditions, vocabulary and more. We seek to develop leaders specifically within the arts & culture field to adeptly respond to significant changes that impact society, politics, environment and economy. As a peer cohort, ILI intercultural leaders hone personal and professional skills to affect local, national and global communities – and promote a shift toward greater awareness, resourcing and action in the broader field of arts & culture.
1. BUILD stronger strategic intercultural collaborations and solidarity in the field of arts, culture and social justice.
2. PROMOTE the traditional and contemporary practices of artists and culture bearers, establish an alternative pathway for them to work within existing structures and provide opportunity for them to create and normalize new structures.
3. ADVANCE and enhance the capacity of artists, culture bearers and arts organizations to pursue cultural equity and sustain their work in a changing environment.
4. IMPACT the language, shift the attention and endow greater resources in multiple sectors to support transformative practices of artists and culture bearers.
A prominent driver was our own experience as leaders within the arts and culture field who have participated in numerous professional development programs. Most of these provided important skills, connections and capacity for us and our organizations while also reinforcing dominant cultural norms that at times were out of sync with our commitment to cultural equity and to change-making in and with our communities. As we grew in our own leadership and built trust and understanding together over time, we developed a shared analysis of the need for a leadership program of, by and for the artists and culture bearers in our communities.
In defining this collaborative program as an “Intercultural Leadership Institute,” we are making an important distinction. Cross-cultural approaches highlight the differences and similarities between two or more distinct cultures. Intercultural approaches invite exploration of our shared grooves of social memory, co-habitation and mutual accountability; they allow us to challenge dominant norms as well as honor, empower and find solidarity in the differences of our histories, traditions, identities, vocabularies and more.
We believe an intercultural approach to change-making and developing leaders within the arts and culture field is critical to respond effectively to the significant shifts that are underway in nearly every facet of our society, politics, environment and economy at the local, national and global levels. We have created ILI to foster and support intercultural leaders throughout our communities, as well as to promote a shift in the broader arts and culture field toward greater intercultural awareness, resourcing and action.
Learn more about the year-long ILI program
María López De León
National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures President & CEO
Vicky Holt Takamine
First Peoples Fund
Mississippi Center for Cultural Production
La quen náay (Haida/Tlingit)
First Alaskans Institute President & CEO
Denise Saunders Thompson
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
President & CEO
bearers and artist entrepreneurs as transformative community leaders, 2) deepening tribally
based organizations’ capacity to serve artists and their families and 3) investing holistically
into the next generation of resilient artists.
First Alaskans Institute helps develop the capacities of Alaska Native people and their communities to meet the social, economic and educational challenges of the future, while fostering positive relationships among all segments of our society. The Institute does this through community engagement, information and research, collaboration, and leadership development. First Alaskans is a non-profit charitable organization whose purpose is to advance Alaska Natives.
The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin, and assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring.