Prior to coming to Seattle Center 17 years ago, we were in the age of what I’ll call diversity, when you talk about race and culture and ethnicity. This idea was what really launched Seattle Center Festál, to help people understand the diversity of the city.
Most places are not as diverse as Seattle. We’ve got 180 different languages in the city. Festál works better here for that reason. So, we had the age of diversity, which was more about inclusion and bringing more people into this place.
Now, we’re in the age of race and social justice, and the City of Seattle has a program called the Race and Social Justice Initiative. That’s more about fairness and equity. Equity in jobs. Equity in housing. Because you can have diversity and not have equity. So I think the festivals are finding ways of adapting into that age of equity, as opposed to just diversity.
#IAmSeattleCenter #Festal20 #culture #diversity #equity
STEVE SNEED, Managing Artistic Director of Cultural Programs, Seattle Center Productions.
Steve oversees Seattle Center Festál, a series of 24 cultural festivals throughout the year on campus. Festál celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, so he has developed a unique perspective on the cultural climate of the Center.