The initiative began as a letter asking Albertan theatre institutions to commit to equitable employment of 35% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and 50% gender-variant folx and women by 2025. Now with the goal articulated and commitments being made, questions of intersectionality, accountability, and sustainability echo in conversations, and we are here to listen and offer curiosity in return. Curiosity, risk, failure, bravery, truth, commitment. These are just a few of the values we bring into our art making, and it is with these values we hope to continue sharing stories - just in a different context.
The 35//30 Initiative is thrilled to announce that as we continue to grow, we have partnered with Theatre Alberta to hire two new positions to help us plan! Congratulations to our new Strategic Coordinators Jesse Del Fierro and Andrés Moreno as they begin work on furthering the ALL IN program as well as helping us find our path forward to best serve our community!
We thank the Edmonton Community Foundation, Calgary Foundation, and Rozsa Foundation for the flexibility to redirect remaining funds for ALL IN in service of this partnership, and we can’t wait to reconnect with ALL IN’s 95 theatre artists and administrators on next steps!
JESSE DEL FIERRO
Jesse Del Fierro is a non-binary, Filipinx – Canadian theatre creator, performer and facilitator with the privilege to work in both Moh’kinstsis on Treaty 7 Territory and on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples colloquially known as Calgary AB and Vancouver BC respectively. They have the absolute joy of being Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre & Playwrights Theatre Centre’s 2021-22 MSG Emerging Dramaturg and one of The 35//50 Initiative’s Strategic Coordinators in partnership with Theatre Alberta. They have collaborated on works presented at PuSh International Performance Art Festival, SummerWorks, Audain Gallery, Vines Art Festival and rEvolver Festival amongst others. As a recipient of BCAC’s 2020 Early Career Development grant, Jesse is currently under the mentorship of Jenna Rodgers of Chromatic Theatre, and Jivesh Parasram of Rumble Theatre to further develop their skills as director, dramaturg, collaborator and overall badass artistic leader. Intersectionality is their only reality, and they appreciate you.
Say hello at www.jessedelfierro.com.
Jesse is wearing a soft pink shirt against a soft pink background. They are seated with their knees bent halfway to their chest and their arms gently placed on their knees. They are smiling widely towards the source of light that is off frame to the top left corner. There is only one source of natural lighting draping a soft shadow onto the side of Jesse that is facing the camera.
Andrés Moreno is a proud Colombian artist and creator and an immigrant to Turtle Island based out of Treaty 6 who has always loved the tradition of storytelling as a tool to build connection and increase representation. From an early age, they have had an interest in the way sharing lived experiences can be used to heal and connect with the community around you. They have also began exploring with different mediums of storytelling and how theatricality and storytelling can be translated by each medium.
Their work as a performer has taken them all over the world performing in stages from Whitehorse to Dublin, and their favorite part of being an artist is connecting with other artists and sharing knowledge and lived experiences through collaboration. They are a multifaceted artist whose interests include puppetry, playwriting, acting, directing, creation work, design, and Pina Coladas.
Most recently Andrés has been focusing on increasing accountability, reflectivity, and agency through their work with Azimuth Theatre and Theatre Alberta.
Andrés is light skinned, and has a trimmed beard and short hair. They are wearing a white and black striped sweater and they stand looking off pensively to the left side of the picture. They have a focused expression on their face and their arms are folded with one arm crossing their chest. The picture has a rose grey filter.
Inspired by a conversation between rocket scientist CJ Giovingo, and social justice warrior Autumn Brown (from the podcast How to Survive the End of the World), Engagement Lab is an immersive and intimate experimental “lab” to ask theatre-makers in Alberta how we can create a more equitable arts ecology and transform the relationship between historically marginalized artists and Alberta’s predominantly white theatre institutions (PWIs).
Partnership and outreach coordinators Jesse Del Fierro and Andrés Moreno will help the experiment with mentorship and guidance from JD Derbyshire and Adrienne Wong. As we embark on the journey that will span upwards of 1 year, we are excited to build a brave, caring, and deeply compassionate facilitated space in which participants have the opportunity to practice tools and fully engage with resources for anti-oppressive/anti-bias theatre practice offered in the program. We will reflect upon and explore the specific fears and hesitations our communities have regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion, and in turn, grow and foster agency for real change and boundary-building capacity.
This is an opportunity to work in community to try, fail, learn, keep accountable, and try again.