Together, We Lead The Way: a letter penned by our new leaders

Pawan Deol and Laura June Albert smile at the camera sitting on a wooden chair. Pawan is wearing a flowy pink blouse, her hair falls on her right shoulder and Laura june s wearing a stripped turtleneck dress accessorized with a blue beaded necklace.

From L to R: Pawan Deol and Laura June Albert

In the framework of emergence, the whole is a mirror of the parts. Existence is fractal – the health of the cell is the health of the species and the planet.”

– adrienne maree brown, from Emergent Strategy

There is no denying this has been a turbulent and unpredictable time for the arts, but we are delighted to share that ISAS concluded 2022 with our most successful season yet. Given the extraordinary circumstances of recent years, we are incredibly grateful to be in the situation we are now. With tenacious strengths and innumerable assets, ISAS is well positioned to build into new growth.

It is our great honour to share that following a year-long succession planning process, the Board of ISAS, with recommendation by the outgoing Founders, have invited us to take on shared leadership of the organisation. For this transition we are leaning into shared models and collective impact. It is widely held that co-leadership is a progressive model in non-profit organizations. Similarly, we feel excited about the collectivism that shared curatorial voices will bring to programming. Shared artistic leadership ensures distribution through South Asian artistic networks, and ensures breadth of representation in community. We believe in the power of collaboration, creativity, and innovation to drive our mission forward.

A founder transition is one of the most profound and important changes an organization can go through. As senior management, we have spent years pouring love and care into building Indian Summer into the organization it is today. The care we have invested has been returned to us tenfold – by the rigour and creativity from the incredible staff, by the vision and steadfastness of our Board, by the generous outpouring of support from our community and partners, by the astounding and continuous beauty from artists, and by the joy and tenderness we witness over and over again in the faces of the audiences. We know that what makes the Indian Summer Festival experience so special is the distinctive flavour, the boutique experiences, one-time offerings, and the elevated attention to detail. We are deeply honoured by the invitation to lead this necessary organization into its next stage, together. We will continue to uphold progressive leadership values and deep commitment to this community, with the brilliance of South Asian artists guiding us forward. If you have been part of building and supporting ISAS to where we are today – we thank you.

We send a gigantic, profound and heartfelt thank you to Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko for creating this gift for us all. We also thank the outgoing founders and the current board for the trust placed in us for this appointment in our next chapter. We look forward to new and exciting futures just around the corner!