Systems Change, Rural Arts and Festivals
Carla Stephenson is the project lead for the Rural Arts Inclusion Lab (RAIL) a systems change project funded by the Vancouver Foundation. Carla has been working in small rural communities for over two decades, she is the co-founder of the Tiny Lights Festival and the Executive Director of Renascence Arts and Sustainability Society and a member of the ArtsBC Insight team She has presented at the Canadian Arts Summit and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Conference about the innovations that her organizations have made in equity and sustainability.
Through her work with RAIL, she has been facilitating many conversations to address colonial systems that perpetuate inequality by design. Over 200 arts administrators, artists and funders attended these conversations in the past year. Her facilitation work is grounded in creating conditions where emergence can happen through listening and collective story harvesting.
She believes art plays a vital role in disrupting and getting to the truth of issues in subversive and overt ways. Carla brings to her work the lived experience of being a mixed-race woman of colour and mother who is grateful to live and work on the unceded territories of the Sinixt and Ktunaxa Peoples.