We spoke with Mariella Luz, Artist Trust Board Secretary, and a full-time artist as part of our end of year fundraising campaign. Mariella has been at the forefront of Artist Trust’s ongoing transition into a stronger, more equitable organization. She shared with us about learning to settle with being unsettled, Artist Trust’s journey, and so much more. Read more below! Support Artist Trust before the end of the year at artisttrust.org/donate/.
What is your role at Artist Trust and what do you enjoy about it?
I’m a board member and I serve on the Racial Equity and Governance committees. Artist Trust has introduced me to so many folks I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered. This year I have really appreciated the difficult and meaningful conversations we’ve been having around race, equity, and what it means to be living & working in a pandemic.
How are you involved in the arts?
I’m a full-time artist and I serve on two art-related boards. Pre-pandemic I also went to music & art events monthly, if not weekly. So I’d say I’m pretty involved.
What has 2020 taught you both personally and professionally?
For me, the personal and professional are so intertwined I can’t separate them out. This year has taught me that I need to settle with being unsettled. There has been almost no rhythm or consistency this year – every time I think I have it figured out something major changes. I’m sure there are lots of folks who embrace that but I find it challenging. But when I reflect on that I realize that so many of the pressures and stress I feel are products of the culture we live in (patriarchy, racism, capitalism) that I need to consider how much I want/need to participate in that and how much of that is just conditioning.
How will you carry those lessons into 2021?
In 2021 I hope to remember how valuable this time has been in spite of the difficulty. That through all of this there has been change and growth. That for me I can step back and enjoy my life and not work so hard all the time.
What excites you about what you’ve learned/the changes Artist Trust has made or will make?
Honestly, I can’t believe all of the changes that AT has made this year. Over the last 6 months, there has really been a shift toward equity that we couldn’t have predicted. We are far from completing that work but the willingness and desire to be an anti-racist more equitable organization is something that is drastically different from where we were in January. Not only does that excite me, it makes me proud to be involved in the organization.
What is your vision for a stronger Artist Trust?
I think Artist Trust will be stronger when it is really in community with the artists it serves. At this time we’re working hard toward transparency and I think that could be transformative in how folks perceive and interact with us.