Policy of Belonging
Compound is designed as a cultural complex with aspirations of deepening experiences around culture. We have made intentional choices about art, design, and programming to stimulate and inspire our audience. Our goal is to unite the mind, body, and spirit into a feeling of profound connection with the self and community.
We place great emphasis on practicing the concept of belonging and understand it as our responsibility to value, protect, and view equally all individuals and communities through their many expressions (customs, traditions, and contributions) irrespective of geography, heritage, or legal status. We recognize and celebrate all people irrespective of color, creed, gender, religion, orientation, and physical ability. We acknowledge that we are on indigenous sacred ground and strive to honor this heritage. We embrace differences and encourage dialogue through culture.
We are doing things differently. We are aware that culture is not neutral. We all inhabit different realities. We intend to raise non-status quo narratives that have been silenced and buried, to speak truth to power and reactivate the public space. We understand that cultural institutions have a history of elitism, particularly in regard to access and equity. We aim to employ intersectional approaches—to speak, show, and create an environment that resonates with all who enter. At Compound, ALL are welcome.
Our team contemplated how best to reflect and engage our community while internally reflecting the same values. By adopting such a policy, we emphasize belonging at the core of our space. We believe that cultural spaces are centers of community healing—sites where access and immersion in diverse cultural mediums and expressions have the ability to shift consciousness.
Policy of Belonging in Action
- To be accessible for all of our audiences, admission to Compound and The Laboratory is free.
- Compound incorporates the policy of belonging into all aspects of operations including audience engagement, communications, programming, potential partnerships, recruitment, and community outreach.
- We will engage artists with experiences and skills centered in community cultural development.
- We will recognize local artistic contributions and culture-bearers, as well as support allied artists outside of the local context.
- We will compensate artists based on a living wage.
- We will listen deeply to community concerns and respond to specific needs and opportunities
- We will partner and engage audiences directly in art making, workshops, and experiences that promote the concept of belonging, and preserve and strengthen the existing communal fabric.
- We will anchor these actions in existing community culture so that they don’t invite gentrification and displacement.
Review of Policy of Belonging
If a staff member, collaborator, or member of the community should find that any Compound action, program, or event is in conflict with the policy of belonging, a review will be mandated.
Compound requests a written statement citing the grievance that poses a threat to the integrity of the policy of belonging, including a description of negative impacts and suggestions for reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, program, or event at issue.
We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments about our policy of belonging.
*The policy of belonging is indebted to and has its origins with cultural arts advocate and Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland, Roberto Bedoya, and cultural convener Department of Arts and Culture.