Statement from the MIX Board & Staff
As a necessary queer cultural space, MIX has been experimenting for 30 years. As we enter into the MIX 30 celebration, one of the growing pains that we have experienced is around responding to harm experienced in our organization or at our festival and integrating preventative measures as we learn from those who have experienced harm at MIX. This year MIX is committing to leaning into our community’s resilience and are doing challenging work to create a safer space at MIX.
We acknowledge that the organization has not responded adequately to feedback around safety, including individual needs for healing. The last two years of systemic changes at MIX have been a response to some of the fucked up things that happened in our past. This has included removing previous leadership and uplifting QTPOC leadership, ending problematic programming, prioritizing “safer spaces” coordination for MIX 30, working with staff and volunteers towards cultural shifts on substances/sex/accountability, and integrating new practices and policies for preventing and responding to harm as it happens. While shutting the festival down was on the table, we decided, instead, that MIX is still a very relevant, important cultural institution. We are challenging ourselves and our community to try new things towards creating safer spaces and addressing harm, not just during the festival, but year-round. We hope these new experiments will reflect the care, intention, reputation, and integrity of a MIX where queer art, culture, and celebration can happen free from harm and suffering. We acknowledge that no space is ever gonna be a safe space for all and also we feel that MIX is safer now.
In service to this vision, we are asking all staff, volunteers, and guests entering the year-round MIX space to agree to share in creating a respectful, inclusive space and to be held accountable for any behaviors that compromise the safety of the space and others. In order to make that happen, we offer these:
- Receive clear consent: especially regarding touching, photographing, and/or videotaping any body in the space (open dialogue is important and encouraged!);
- Respect sexy space: MIX loves and encourages sex – please keep it to the designated evenings and spaces as we work towards safe sexy space for all;
- Do not damage or steal anything from the space;
- Respect artist materials;
- Practice Harm Reduction and Accountabilibuddies: especially regarding intoxication - this includes assisting those who may need help, or seeking support from MIX festival volunteers for harm reduction or “getting home safely” resources;
- Respect the hours, rules, and generosity of The Dreamhouse. This is a less party, more art atmosphere. Please honor that energy;
- Stay out of staff areas;
- Communicate with people directly or with MIX festival volunteers if you see anyone in violation of the above (calling the police is not an option we encourage).
Removing People From Space
MIX board, staff, and volunteers are very committed and accountable to the MIX Community Agreements and will ask folks to leave the public spaces who are unable to participate within and/or honor these agreements. Please notify a MIX volunteer or staff if you are made to feel that any of the above agreements are not being respected.
For MIX Staff/Volunteers/Security
- If you witness or it is reported that someone(s) are not honoring the community agreements, please intervene immediately. First responder training will cover basic de-escalation and intervention strategies. As a reminder:
- If someone is unable to honor the community agreements, for any reason, confer with MIX staff on “soberish” list to determine the safest option for removing them from the larger space.
- If person is intoxicated: bring them to hospitality or call a car home.
- If person is violent/angry: get a team of at least 3 people, including security, to escort out of space and de-escalate outside with team.
- If person is a close friend to MIX fam: get that person involved.
- Never call the police! Use community support if needed.