The Mission of Crossing Bridges is reflected in that of its flagship project, Tlacopac International Artist Residency in Mexico City. Tlacopac was intentionally established as an inclusive residency, since the launch of its “beta version” in January-February 2018, involving in its planning, implementation, interactivity, immersion, and all residency activities, Native People from within Mexico and around the world; AfroMexico and African diaspora artists from around the world; JapaneseMexico and all Asian cultures; ArabMexico & Arabic artists from around the world; LGBTQIA artists from within Mexico & around the world; artists with disabilities; senior artists; college, university, conservatory, & all other educational constituents with an interest in “convivencia” or the deep “living together” experience that is so rich a component of Latin American cultures. In short, Crossing Bridges is from its inception intentionally inclusive.
The services offered are the arrangement of all the necessities for arts and creative/cultural tourists traveling between and among the countries and cultures of Ibero-America – basically, the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. These tourists will be primarily of two types:
The work environment is as unique and bespoke as is the experience into which the cultural traveler immerses themselves. Each worker or visitor to the work environment or contributor to the Crossing Bridges project can expect to find their cultural attributes, contributions, and idiosyncrasies valued, appreciated, listened to, and respected.
The glopbal tourism industry is massive. The sector to which we subscribe can broadly be described as culturally or socially responsible, or ethical, tourism. As opposed to swooping in, paying for, and taking out, arts and culture travelers associated with Crossing Bridges immerse and exchange, instead. Our goal is convivencia, which in Spanish is a concept implying a deep immersive living together or sharing. We welcome close partnerships with other like-minded collaborators in the ongoing evolution of the field.
Poverty and income inequality in Latin American and the Caribbean have declined, along with military dictatorships and corruption, in part because of new freedom of expression and communications made possible by technology and social media. Indigenous groups are part of that opening. Crossing Bridges is at the forefront of commitment to this momentum.
Crossing Bridges intends to grow and to be profitable, but never at the expense of furthering income inequality. Where we partner with artist residency programs or cultural centers in Haiti or the Dominican Republic or Argentina or off-the-beaten-track venues in New York City, we intend to distribute the profits so these trends toward the reduction of income inequality globally are supported by us.
It is appropriate to mention here the centuries-long struggle of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas to take or to be given a seat at the table. A network of indigenous cultural centers in Canada, the U.S., and throughout the Americas is emerging as an offshoot, a vital one, of Crossing Bridges’ business plan. With their history and environmental and spiritual concerns, their centrality to Crossing Bridges’ mission will continue to grow.
Deep misunderstandings exist between Mexico and the U.S., among different racial and ethnic people within the U.S., between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, between LGBTQ people and the broader community, wherever they live, between people of different ages, genders, income and educational levels. Crossing Bridges, and the arts, can’t erase or change all that, but can bring these unfamiliarized global citizens together in apolitical forums centered on the arts and artistic/cultural/creative tourism and exchange.