It is inevitable.
Sometimes we break
Like teeth and promises
Bones and hearts.
Branch and ground.
Chaos and code.
Habits and faith.
Sometimes we break open
like pods and doors
dawn and silence.
Sometimes we break apart
sometimes we break down.
We are just pieces getting ready to
Disassemble ourselves into a fire.
The future won’t have us in it.
If my ancestors taught me anything
It is that fire creates new life
An affirmation to let go,
To make way for something else to shape, to take
on something that we have not felt before.
Maybe a new sound or one that you have always craved for like,
Sunrays stroking your skin.
Maybe a new song.
Maybe a new feeling
or a different way to understand
what we have held once before
its heavy is new,
its angles indent differently on our palm,
its smell, a little bit familiar and reminds us
Home has a simple recipe.
Some call for more laughing parents than canned meat,
Some call for cups and cups of giggling grandfathers in bouncy castles
Dashes of hand-holding
Peeled Korean drama marathons
Handfuls of lullabies once forgotten
And bowls of cut fruit, spilling over, handed to you with luscious words like,
or sweet juicy ones like,
I love you.
But sometimes the ingredients are hard to come by,
and you’ll have to go look.
Float to the surface of your first memory
When you were in water
Scraping scales with the naga
It left lines on your torso
to keep your secrets
to remember your purpose after you’ve sprouted feet.
Listen for chocolate honeycomb.
Sweet buzzing that swarms across your chest
And warms your belly.
And lights up fauna and flora
transplanted here, from your motherland.
Be the water they’ll need to survive in this strange soil.
If your well becomes dry, I invite you
to timewalk with me
to that moment when first you laughed.
The unnecessary amount of time you took to consider
how many butts a buffalo might have
(One is not the right answer.)
Come and timewalk with me
To contemplate how many oceans live inside the heart.
Every time I break, I trace the root
of my thumb
Fly around with mudpuppies
Shuck out of my water body
And dance forward into myself.
When you reach the edge of the sea
Or hunger at the cusp of a vision,
Let a dragon fruit sing you home.
Pollen is proud to join other Minnesota organizations and individuals in asking elected officials to fund accessibility renovations for venues so that disabled audiences, staff, and artists can take part in the arts and be represented in these spaces.
Pollen is all about community and connection, two things that simply cannot happen when part of our community is unable to even get in a building, let alone up on stage.
“Inaccessibility creates exclusion and when part of our community is unrepresented it gives us all a skewed understanding of who our community is and who we are fighting alongside and for.”
Arts organizations and venues must begin to remedy this by—at the very least—making both backstage and audience areas fully compliant with the ADA. This will involve buy-in from legislators, community developers, architects, venue owners, event planners, booking agents, funders, and arts organizations large and small.
Pollen is also all about imagination, and as we work for a better future we know that disability inclusion requires expansive, creative thinking about access and belonging.
Accessibility means more than ramps, braille, and other physical measures. True accessibility involves moving beyond legal requirements and the built environment and creating a social environment that welcomes and values disabled people.
A building may technically be accessible, but when the wheelchair-accessible seating area is jammed awkwardly off in the corner, as a wheelchair user, I sure as hell won’t feel like I belong there.
If a venue treats accommodations requests as a burden, uses ableist language, or doesn’t make their social media content accessible, then it’s not really accessible even if it does have a ramp out front.
So yes, bring the buildings up to code. All of them, even the old ones. But then think about where to go from there, because accessibility is a big, ongoing project—and one that ultimately benefits everyone.
When events have more built-in breaks, and spaces to sit down, everyone gets to rest. When organizations distribute materials that cater to different communication and information processing needs, everyone has the opportunity to engage more deeply with it. When venues provide sensory-friendly or quiet areas, everyone has somewhere to relax.
Accessibility efforts should always center disabled people, but the positive effects of improved accessibility reach far beyond disability. Access is not a niche issue, nor is it limited to the arts. Progress will require work and support from people across communities, disciplines, and identities.
Pollen Midwest Terms of Service
Last Updated: June 1, 2015
Thanks for visiting www.pollenmidwest.org (the “Site”), which is owned and operated by Pollen Midwest. These Terms of Service (“Terms”) govern your use of the Site. Please read them carefully.
1. Accepting Our Terms. By using the Site, you agree to be bound by all of the terms below. If you don’t agree to all of the terms below, please discontinue use immediately. If a term is unclear, please let us know by e-mailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Terms of Service Updates. Pollen may modify these Terms of Service at any time by posting updates here. Your continued use of the Site after any modification constitutes your acceptance of the updated Terms. Please check back often.
3. Third-Party Sites and Services. The Site may contain links to third party websites or resources. Such links do not constitute any endorsement of information, products or services that may be found there. We are not responsible for the content or performance of any third party site. Use of third party sites and resources is at your own risk and subject to the terms of service of those sites and services.
4. Appropriate Use. In exchange for the right to access and use the Site, you agree to the following:
A. Not to use the Site in any illegal manner or for any illegal purpose or in any manner that could damage, disable or impair the Site;
B. Not to alter or modify any content on the Site without the express written permission of Pollen;
C. Not to post, transmit or share material that you do not have the right to post, transit or share or that is obscene, defamatory or invasive of the privacy of any person;
D. Not to use the site to harass or intimidate any person.
5. Ownership of Pollen Materials. The names Pollen and Pollen Midwest, our logos, designs, text, graphics, pictures and all other content on the site (collectively “Content”) is the property of Pollen Midwest or the individuals who created it. It is protected under U.S. and international copyright and trademark law. We grant you the right, subject to these Terms of Service, to view, use, share and link to Content. Please do not alter, print or sell Content without or express written permission. If you do, we may pursue legal action against you.
6. Disclaimer or Warranties. Pollen makes no representation or warranty about the completeness, accuracy, or adequacy of any information, facts, opinions, statements or recommendations contained on the Site.
The Site may be unavailable from time to time due to maintenance or malfunction of computer equipment or for various other reasons. We assume no responsibility or liability for malfunctions or other problems with any hosting services, computer systems, servers or providers, equipment or software used in connection with the Site.
Pollen cannot guarantee that any content, including user submitted content, will be maintained on the site or in any archive. You agree that Pollen has no responsibility or liability for the deletion of, or the failure to store, any submitted content. We retain the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion, at any time, with or without notice.
Pollen is not responsible for any damage resulting from any such security breach, or from any virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer line failure or any other technical or other malfunction. Users should also be aware that transmissions via wireless connections, networks, or the Internet may not be secure, and you should consider this before submitting any information to anyone using such systems.
YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT:
YOUR USE OF THE SITE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE SITE IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” BASIS. POLLEN EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
7. Governing Law. The Terms of Service are governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota and the United States of America.
8. Termination. If you violate any of the Terms of Service, we have the right to suspend or disable your access to or use of Pollen.
9. Entire Agreement. These Terms of Service constitute the entire agreement between you and Pollen Midwest, Inc. regarding the use of the Site and supersede any prior agreements.
10. Contact Us. If you have any questions about these Terms of Service, you may contact us at: email@example.com
Last Updated: June 1, 2015
1. Information We Collect. Pollen users are not required to provide any information when they visit the Services. However, we may ask for some or all of the following information when users join or register with the Services, submit content, register for events, or directly contact us:
A. Contact information, such as name, display name, e-mail address, organization name, site password, zip code, and telephone number;
B. Payment information, such as credit card number and expiration date;
C. Correspondence and other information that you send to us; and
D. Additional information described to you at the point of collection and subject to your consent.
We may also collect the following information automatically when you visit the Services:
A. Your browser type and operating system;
B. Your Internet Protocol (IP) address.
2. Use of Information. We may use information that we collect through the Services for the following purposes:
A. To conduct demographic analysis on our users;
B. To provide information you request and respond to correspondence that we receive from you;
C. To customize and personalize your use of the Services;
D. Contact you with surveys, legal notices, and other information that may be relevant to your use of the Services;
E. As otherwise described to you at the point of collection and subject to your consent.
3. Sharing of Information. It is our policy not to share your information with third parties. We do reserve the right to share your information with third parties in the following limited circumstances:
A. In order to protect the legal rights, safety, and security of Pollen Midwest;
C. To comply with or respond to law enforcement or legal process or a request for cooperation by a government or other entity, whether or not legally required.
We may also disclose certain aggregate website usage and demographic information that does not describe or identify individual users.
4. Data Security We have procedures in place to help protect against theft, loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure or destruction of the information you provide to us. No data transmission or storage is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you transmit or disclose to us and cannot be responsible for the theft, destruction, or inadvertent disclosure of your information. In the event of a breach, we will notify you via email as soon as we can.
You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password. Please notify us immediately if you discover any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security.
6. Third Party Sites and Services. Pollen utilizes third party vendors Stripe, MailChimp and EventBrite for ecommerce, newsletters and ticketing, respectively. These sites are not under the control of Pollen and have their own terms of service and privacy policies. We encourage you to review them.
7. Communications Preferences. You may choose not to receive promotional emails, newsletters, or communications from us. You may opt out of receiving emails from us by clicking on the “update subscription preferences” or “unsubscribe from this list” links included in the e-mails you receive. Please note that opt-out requests may take up to 14 business days to be effective.