A Hybrid Approach Toward Liberatory Infrastructure for Arts & Culture Organizations
Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE)
A Program of the National Peformance Network (NPN)
This workbook and learning deck are made for people who believe culture is the fulcrum of social change, and who care about co-creating equitable and liberated arts leadership and organizations. These resources share the learning of the artists, culture workers, poets, dreamers, strategists, arts administrators, organizational leaders, organizers, and visionaries of Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE) who came together for nearly a decade to learn what it takes to create thriving, equitable arts organizations actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and build liberating alternatives.
This workbook is a collection of LANE’s activities and learnings shared through text, interactive media, and video elements.
This learning deck guides your Liberatory Infrastructure journey through brief teachings and questions.
More About This Project
Once upon a time, across kitchen tables, front porches, conference tables, performance spaces, and workshop sessions, a big conversation was happening at the National Performance Network (NPN). We were in a quandary: BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving arts organizations, as well as rural arts organizations, were either folding or leaving the Network. So we asked, “How can we collectively build something that specifically supports those in our field who are most vulnerable?”
Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE) was a ten-year initiative by NPN to support arts organizations of color and rural organizations to thrive in ways that are rooted in who they are, deeply nourish their well-being, and build on their brilliance and leadership in tearing down white supremacy culture, racial capitalism, and other systems of oppression. Through those ten years, two cohorts of six organizations amassed a wealth of learning toward creating Liberatory Infrastructure: systems of accountability and governance that hold the core principles of justice, dignity, and humanity for all.
To share their experience with the field, the LANE team and cohort members have worked for two years on compiling the learnings and practices—from their lived experiences as well as the LANE program’s materials—that allowed them to engage in a range of Liberatory Infrastructure experiments.
These two offerings support different ways of knowing:
The learning deck is a tool that pairs brief learnings with reflection questions to guide you in your own journey toward Liberatory Infrastructure.
The workbook presents the learnings at greater depth, as well as practices developed during the LANE process. The workbook uses interactive media and video elements to invite fellow travelers to fully understand the journey that we’ve taken—and to take it further.
Both resources support exploration either as an individual or within collectives. We believe they can be helpful not only to nonprofit arts organizations but also to any formation of people in which infrastructure is necessary to sustain ability, functionality, health, and justice. They are an invitation to dream more fully.
LANE was predicated on four cornerstones that guided our work. Through the lived experience of the Cohort members, we collectively identified seven areas of learning that were the most impactful in their transformation toward Liberatory Infrastructure:
Four Cornerstones to guide us
- Racial Justice & Cultural Equity
- Popular Education
- Design Justice
Sacred Seven areas of learning
- Organizational Culture & Power
- Organizational Capacity & Infrastructure
We invite you into Mixed Metaphor, a Liberatory Infrastructure toolkit to help you untangle your challenges, engage complexity, and find a path forward.
LANE cohort members and staff collaborated with Change Elemental as our participatory learning partner, And Also Too as our graphic design team, and ill Weaver as our Creative Director. All illustrations are by Amir Khadar. Read full credits and acknowledgements. You can sign up for updates and opportunities to connect more deeply.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.