This letter was sent to the Snow Farm community on June 5, 2020.
Dear Snow Farm community,
This is a historic time, one that is deeply challenging and also hopeful. All week, as protests have erupted across the United States following the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and centuries of other violence against black people, we at Snow Farm have not only been mourning, but also thinking, talking, and listening. Powerful emails have poured in from every kind of organization, condemning police brutality and affirming the value of black lives. As a craft school and a community of makers, we often use our work to express opinions, feelings, and dreams, but today, as the week ends, I want to join our voice with those saying loud and clear: systemic racism is unacceptable and cannot stand.
But, what can Snow Farm DO to help make change in this long-in-coming historic time? First, we will continue to follow our mission - offering a safe, accessible place where individual creative expression is nurtured, because we believe in the life-changing power of creativity.
And, we know we can be better. We will to continue to work deliberately and deeply to make sure that our Snow Farm campus and community is welcoming and representational. We will seek out voices who can help us on this journey, listen carefully, and we will grow and change.
Next week, I will be joining with a group of leaders in the craft field to talk about ideas, resources, and what actions we can take collectively to bring more equity to our work. I am grateful to Brigitte Martin, Executive Director of the Society of Crafts for initiating this opportunity.
Snow Farm's success is based in being a community, one where every staff person, instructor, student, and guest is treated with respect and where differences are celebrated. Perhaps, this is one of the most valuable experiences Snow Farm provides – an opportunity for people to come together, get to know each other as individuals, and share something honest and intimate. Together, I hope we can create a more just and equitable world for all.
Mary Jo Murphy