LEIA had big plans for 2020. By this point in the year, our goals were to have a membership program in effect, to have Chapter Houses beyond our home base in Southern California, and to be headed towards our first Board Election.
But like most everyone else in the world, the pandemic has drastically altered our plans. As a volunteer-run organization, run primarily by artists, we’ve all found our lives and practices disrupted in ways we could never have anticipated.
Our first reaction was to establish the Emergency Relief Grant, which channeled resources from those in the community who had something to spare to those who had pressing needs. Through direct GoFundMe donations and revenue shares from artists who produced work, we distributed over $3000 worth of grants at the start of the pandemic.
Since then, we’ve been waiting for a timeline that would give the green light for immersive and experiential creators to get back to the kind of groundbreaking work they are known for. That timeline, sadly, has not appeared. While there are signs of incredible adaptation — from the virtual experiential work that has evolved online, to the drive-in style work that is on the horizon for October — we know that across the United States, the overall situation is still uncertain.
With that in mind, we are holding off on making any major decisions regarding a membership drive, LEIA elections, 2021 programs, and other matters until the Founding Committee can gather in mid-November when the shape of things to come will (hopefully) have more clarity.
This does not mean that the Founding Committee is idle, or that active members (who serve on committees) or potential members should think that there is not work to be done. Instead now is the time for us to discover just where the greatest good can be done and to identify what levers of change lay within our grasp regardless of available resources.
Of particular interest remains those who have either already begun to organize their regions, or who are interested in organizing local creators in the United States outside of Southern California. (A note to our international brothers and sisters: our mandate does not fall outside the legal territory of the United States, but we are always glad to hear from those who are organizing in solidarity.)
Our hope is that, come mid-November. a clear view of 2021 will be available to us, and that timelines for voting membership, Chapter Houses, elections, and new initiatives can be put into place and communicated to all around the holidays. So that we can start 2021 off with a renewed sense of purpose.
To reach us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The LEIA Founding Committee
LEIA seeks to advance the immersive and experiential arts through collaboration, education, and advocacy on behalf of creators and producers.