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Culture Working Group Meeting

Began at 6:07 pm Facilitated by Walda Overview of Agenda


1. check-ins 2. discussion program and culture, and structure of our working group(s) 3. review draft timeline (below) 4. review Vision & Goals for USSF 2010 developed as part of evaluation process from 2007 – see esp. last section on Structural: internal structure / program content and format (attached) 5. discuss how #2 & #3 inform our work, especially decisions that need to be made before we can do a “call” for workshop/session proposals 6. other 7. next call, reminder/agenda person, note taker, facilitator


Detroit Oya Amakisi Will Copeland Kiran (Ann Arbor, MI)

Eastern Coast Michelle (Women’s working group trying to plan a strategic planning retreat) Rishi Walda

South Jerome (ATL)

Discussion program and culture, and structure of our working group(s)

Rishibutton_bold.png There was an interest in keeping the group separate next year, but the timing and participation forced them to work together. It would have been helpful if they were separate. The challenges are capacity and relating btw both groups. If there is capacity in leadership to take up the work and maintain functional relationship btw the 2 groups. Jerome The problem there was not integration of incorporating culture throughout the forum. There needs a coordination body to know what is going on in both committees and make sure that

Kiran The structured system of communication that we set up should be maintained. Once a month both groups should communicate together via email or phone call.

Oya I think that there should be separate committees with combined meetings once a month. May be able to bring more people into the each committee, because people can see clearly where they fit in.

Will It will become about coordinate the workshops will dominate the conversation. If we think or plan ahead, to plan how the two groups come together ahead of time. It may take a few conversations as to how we get on the same page.

Walda Culture is program. We don’t want to fall into the trap into there being culture and then there is a lack of support with programming. People focused on Culture have the idea that “We are artists and we only want to work on showcasing our art and bringing in other artists”. There is a big task to do together to do a vision statement. We did not accomplish our goal in 2007. We did regular biweekly call btw the committees. What is the big picture? Mindful of not separating culture from programming and not meeting the needs of the social forum. We should meet biweekly.

Rishi I agree that we need to communicate more. If we do separate committees, is culture just about cultural work or is it also a place where we get to ask the bigger question of culture in the social forum? We need to make social movements so that people really want to participate.

Will Happy about culture being an integral part of the social forum. Does all the NPC feel the same way. It is a discussion that the NPC has to be a part of the discussion as well.

Walda Social forum was an internal call by the 07 structure. Program design form follows function. Greater infusion of art and culture throughout the program. We need to make the NPC accountable.

Jerome They are on record as saying that it is important. The fact that it is program shows that it is integral. We have to integrate art into the forum to show that it is critical.

Walda We need to bring people into the space or into the process. There is a high level of infusing culture into the programming

Oya My understanding is that we are now two separate committees who will connect on a monthly or biweekly schedule to share information. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Rishi Structure should be the focus now. There is a consensus that we will have both.

Walda We will meet monthly or biweekly with the leadership coordinating how we are going to connect We need to spend some time on the vision statement. That we should do that together

Will Looking towards June…a portion of the energy at the NPC should discuss the importance of Culture in the USSF. We can direct some of our attention to the organizing of Culture in the meeting as well.

Rishi We need to solidify the structure, who will take the leadership, and how the groups will be represented at the NPC.

Kiran When and where is the next NPC meeting?

Walda It will be in Detroit.

Will Possibly in Detroit date is July 19-21, 2009. We are going to get to a point where people on the NPC to identify people who want to join the NPC. If you are in Detroit you are welcome to join the discussions at the NPC meeting.

Walda The big vision is important. Should we shift our focus to creating a vision statement and goals. That should include all of us.

Rishi What is the vision statement will take another couple of meetings to complete. I propose that we decide on the leadership. The process for setting up the times should be decided at another date.

Walda A description of the workshops/events/and plenaries. We need to take a look at whether or not we want to maintain that same format. It is good to bring our critiques. There will be an actual invitation space. What are some of the statements that we will make

Jerome The former format did not meet the goals of the forum. Gave an example. The Vision statement needs to encompass our goals.

Rishi Do we need a couple of meetings to discuss the vision statement?

Jerome We need a couple of sessions and then take a proposal to the NPC.

Oya This is an opportunity to create a new paradigm by learning from the past and bringing in the new.

Walda When people come to the USSF they think of coming to do their workshop, but we want people to be excited about the whole process.

Rishi We are cool with us moving forward to us having two meetings to discuss the vision only. Decide a couple of folks to decide who could facilitate that. There needs to be something to happen before those meetings. Decide who are the leadership today.

Kiran I feel good about everything instead of deciding the leadership. We should wait to let people who are not a part of the meeting to be a part of the process.

Rishi Do our two sessions with the first 15 minutes to decide leadership

Walda Let’s decide who will form the small group to bring the ideas to the larger body.

Will Timeline: mid July for the face to face meeting. Propose to do this in such a way that the program group meets at least once or twice; first of June more joint group; towards the end of June; and the beginning of July that we work as separate groups.

Walda We can have two more calls for the visioning, then if folks want to meet separately by the first week in July (before the NPC meeting). June 10 and 24th conference calls. Meet at the same time on the next call.

Kiran Can we switch to 9pm?

Rishi Would prefer 9pm

Walda We can use the same number.

Will He will put the chapters on the culture and programming to everyone on the Wiki.

Walda Anything that I send you is good to go up on the Wiki. Team of people who can make Rishi has to go But will help

Walda, Rishi, and Oya will work together on forming a vision statement for the culture and programming committee. Kiran will attempt. But she can participate more effectively via email.

Walda Oya would you be willing to call us together via email. I will ask Jerome to participate. Send an email about how the process will work.

We will meet together to fill in the question of the separate meeting.


Oya Amakisi took notes. Please send corrections and additions to note, and the information will be updated. The notes will be posted on the Wiki within the next five days.

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