We are thrilled to introduce our new Executive Director Kai Hazelwood! Please join us in a warm Pieter welcome as we share an introduction on Kai’s behalf:
I am beyond honored by the faith that the board, Dorothy, Lupe, and Miles have placed in me by inviting me into the Executive Director role at Pieter. For those of you who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I have been a Pieter Person since its creation; I have attended and led workshops and performances, created cross-organizational collaborations with Pieter, was the first virtual Artist in Residence in 2020, and most recently served on the Pieter Parking Space Residency Selection Committee. This is a community where I have felt at home, and learned so much about myself and my creative practice.
As a queer Black cis woman with chronic health issues, the values I bring with me into this role are deeply informed by my lived experience. My goals are always to find joyful and creative ways to subvert capitalism by prioritizing radical hospitality, disability justice that goes beyond access, and community care that centers the most marginalized among us. One way these values show up as I begin this new relationship with Pieter and all of you is thinking about how we can normalize communicating our different needs around COVID safety. I am so looking forward to meeting many of you at Pieter’s next Open Air Studio on February 23rd, and in order to prioritize my own safety as someone at high risk, I will be double-masked and keeping a minimum of 6 feet from others. I feel most able to relax when I know those around me will remain masked, communicate openly about their own boundaries, and ask about mine. How might Pieter’s community practices like Deep Pieter evolve to allow us to practice speaking freely about our safety needs? My hope is that developing practices around this can make our outside events a comfortable environment for those in our community who, like me, have needed to be very isolated over the last few years, and can make protecting our whole community’s safety a transparent and easeful practice.
As Pieter continues to navigate the shifting landscape of this pandemic, I am curious to learn together how this organization that we love can keep shape-shifting in order to best serve its people. If you have thoughts or ideas, questions or feedback, or just want to say hello, I’ll have 30 minute virtual dates available in my calendar on an ongoing basis beginning next month. Stay tuned: In March, the link to schedule a date will live in my signature at the firstname.lastname@example.org email address, as well as shared through Pieter’s channels. I am excited to learn from all of you, and as a community continue to tend to Pieter’s evolution.