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“We, as a creative people, have the capacity to create a different ending to the story; explore the context, allow room to acknowledge layers, imagine possible outcomes… And the process of connecting with our stories makes me realize that this is the very work we’ve been doing for 40 years.” —LANE Cohort Member

Imagining and creating a liberatory world depends on the vision, voices, and creativity of artists and arts and culture groups, rooted in BIPOC communities and rural communities of all racial identities, who are challenging white supremacy culture and settler colonialism.

Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE), an initiative of the National Performance Network, amplified the leadership of arts organizations of color and rural arts organizations to advance an equitable and innovative field. Over the course of ten years, two cohorts came together to learn what it takes to create thriving, equitable arts organizations actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and build liberating alternatives.The LANE team and cohort members compiled their learning and practices—from their own lived experiences—into Mixed Metaphor, a toolkit that includes a learning deck and a workbook. Change Elemental collaborated with LANE as a participatory learning partner in these efforts (read more about our partnership here).

We invite you into Mixed Metaphor, a toolkit made for people who believe culture is the fulcrum of social change and who are co-creating equitable and liberated leadership and organizations.

The Learning Deck

The learning deck pairs brief learnings with reflection questions to guide you in your own journey toward liberation. Shuffle the deck and pull a card on NPN’s website!

The Workbook

The workbook presents the learnings at greater depth, includes individual and collective practices, and shares interactive media elements. Listen to the LANE soundtrack while you engage with the workbook!

People, Places, & Communities That Guide Us

Explore Mixed Metaphor on the National Performance Network’s website today!

These resources are an invitation to dream more fully. We invite you into Mixed Metaphor, a Liberatory Infrastructure toolkit to help you untangle your challenges, engage complexity, and advance liberation.


Cohort Members:

Affiliations current to their time in LANE. 

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc.: Linda Parris Bailey, Emmanuel Bailey, Jonathan Clark*

Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas: Dawn Chirwa, Jeffrey Cohen, Suryanka Kalra, Merri Ann Osborne, Dani Tirrell, Sharon Williams, Nina Yarbrough*

Coleman Center for the Arts: Jackie Clay,* Suzanne McGahey, Audra Tignor

Hayti Heritage Center/ St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc.: Angela Lee,* Melody Little 

Junebug Productions: Damia Khanboubi,* Kiyoko McCrae, Stephanie McKee-Anderson, Mariana Sheppard, Adonis White-Price  

La Peña Cultural Center: Tara Dalbo, Carol Pierson, Natalia Neira Retamal, Bianca Torres

Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA): Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez,* Nicolas Holguin, Letetia Rodriguez

The Myrna Loy: Phil Campbell, Krys Holmes,* Retta Leaphart 

Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) and All My Relations Arts: Alex Buffalohead, Robert Lilligren, Edward Minnema, Taylor Rose Payer, Cole St. Arnold, Angela Two Stars, Rory Erler Wakemup 

Pangea World Theater: Adlyn Carreras, Dipankar Mukherjee, Meena Natarajan,* Ahn-Thu Pham

Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center: Tony Garcia, Mica Garcia de Benavidez, Tanya Mote,* Victor Vialpando 

The Theater Offensive: Evelyn Francis,* Matt Gelman, Stetson Marshall, Abe Rybeck, Harold Steward 

LANE Consultants: Leatrice Ellzy, Justin Laing,* Keryl McCord, Kiyoko McCrae, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem,* Márquez Rhyne, Kristen Sbrogna,* Beatrice Thomas*

*A subset of cohort members and consultants participated in a design team for these offerings. They lovingly called themselves “the Geese” and flocked in different configurations at various points.

National Performance Network LANE Staff: Sage Crump and Monica Tyran

Learning Partner: Change Elemental – Natalie Bamdad, Elissa Sloan Perry, Naima Yael Tokunow, Monica Tyran, Natasha Winegar

Design Coordinator: ill Weaver

Illustrator: Amir Khadar 

Graphic Designer: And Also Too

Copy editors: Ciara Diane and Sara Carminati

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