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A Starting Place

After months of isolation, we watch with urgency as the country, and the world, turn their attention to the injustices that Black people continue to suffer due to systemic racism, police violence, and economic inequality.

How does a small, arts-based non-profit like Fidget, best support this much needed struggle?

For 11 years, Fidget has regularly opened the doors of its South-Kensington warehouse as a gathering space for artists and thinkers of many kinds. We know from our audiences that one of the most salient features of our space is its welcoming, homey feeling. Fidget Space has good vibes.

As we move towards reopening, one of the most important things for us is that Fidget Space maintains that feeling of home–a space open for any person to feel welcome–watching experimental art, being in discussion, and asking questions. We know that a space that feels welcoming to us may not necessarily feel welcoming or safe for Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. This leads to some deep questioning. How can we create a space that is safe, welcoming, and inviting, for everyone in our community? How has our organization, made up primarily of white people, excluded BIPOC from our space? 

How does Fidget contribute to and benefit from white supremacy? How should artistic organizations be politically involved? How do we want Fidget to be involved in politics and social justice, and how do these things overlap?

These questions are just a starting place. We share them with you as we reflect internally, with the intention to generate broad and deep conversations between Fidget artists, staff, audiences, and our larger community in Philadelphia and beyond.

As we begin to open up in the next few weeks and months, in accordance with Philadelphia’s yellow phase, we envision providing a space for:

Dancing
Healing
Singing
Crying
Gathering
Processing
Conversing
Holding tight
Letting go
Moving
Breathing
Meditating
Visioning

We invite you to add to this list as we hold space – physically and emotionally – for any and all who need it.

We acknowledge that this statement is imperfect. We invite conversation around this statement itself, any of the content within, and/or all the other ways that Fidget engages with and exists in the world.

Signed,
Julia Fisher, Fidget board member and marketing committee chair
Katherine Desimine, Fidget Administrative Assistant
Megan Bridge, Fidget Co-Director
Mijkalena Smith, Fidget Administrative Assistant
Peter Price, Fidget Co-Director


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