(Photo via facebook.com/leewayfound)
The foundation that funds women and trans artists in the Delaware Valley is celebrating a quarter-century this year.
So far in 2018, Leeway Foundation has hosted an interview series, a Changemakers Cabaret with grantee performers and and an ongoing retrospective art exhibition, “Making Space,” displaying the work of more than 100 artists at The Galleries at Moore through Dec. 8, all for its 25th.
Executive Director Denise Brown wrote in an open letter in September that she hoped the exhibit would be “a place that gives you some idea of the ways Leeway grantees utilize their practices and mastery of medium to preserve culture, build community, and create space for new narratives to emerge. It’s just a snapshot of what we’ve become and where we are today @ 25 that we hope provides a glimpse of what the future can be.”
The celebration’s not over. Besides a radiothon and a panel with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, the foundation is hosting the Reel Change virtual film festival, which will feature shorts and features on PhillyCAM via its TV channels (Comcast Xfinity 66/966HD/967 and Verizon FIOS 29/30) and website (phillycam.org/watch) every day of November at 10 p.m.
“We’ve never done anything like this before,” wrote Leeway Communications Director Denise Beek in an email. “We — more specifically, filmmaker, grantee and Leeway Program Director Sara Zia [Ebrahimi] — approached PhillyCAM about being a partner on this festival as a way of celebrating Leeway’s community of media artists who have been part of our 25-year journey.”
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Most of the films included are by grantees, as well as artists who have been involved with Leeway in other ways, Beek said.
Separately from the ongoing birthday party, next Thursday, Leeway is also launching TransForming Inclusion: An Organizational Guide, a resource with trans-affirming advice for peer organizations, funders and cultural organizers. That includes best practices related to pronoun, bathroom and other policies, plus case studies of orgs that have implemented them successfully.
“Over a decade ago, Leeway began an internal process that would support developing an organizational culture that affirms members of the foundation’s community that identify as trans or gender nonconforming,” Brown wrote in a statement. “With the publication of TransForming Inclusion, we hope to share some of what we and our allies in this work have learned along the way as we continue the journey.”
The guide’s launch will include a panel discussion with “leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to trans inclusion.” Supporting partners include CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the City of Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs and William Way LGBT Community Center.-30-
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