Dear Idyllwild Arts Community,
As I write to you, students are preparing to leave for a much-deserved Fall Break. Unlike other schools, Idyllwild Arts draws students from around the world and this year the school is home to three hundred and seventeen students from three dozen different countries. Our diverse community gives us the opportunity to share in one another’s customs, holidays, and traditions, and adds to the richness of everyone’s experience on our campus.
As students travel home, many will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. Thanksgiving is a controversial holiday for some, as it marks a brutal and difficult time in the history of the Unites States.
With a desire for a more inclusive and equitable experience for all of our students, this year Idyllwild Arts marked Indigenous Peoples Day in October to recognize and honor Native American peoples and to commemorate their history and culture. Indigenous Peoples Day is particularly relevant to Idyllwild Arts, as our school is located in the San Jacinto Mountains on land stewarded by the Cahuilla Band of Indians. Earlier this year, the school took an additional step toward acknowledging native people and our country’s history when the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Board of Trustees adopted a Land Acknowledgment Statement that reads:
Idyllwild Arts respectfully acknowledges the Qawishpa Cahuillangnah (also known as Cahuilla Band of Indians) and all nine sovereign Bands of Cahuilla people who have stewarded this land throughout the generations and continue to steward this land for all future generations.
As many of our families prepare to enjoy holidays in the coming months, we pause to acknowledge and respect the many cultures and ethnicities that make up Idyllwild Arts. Idyllwild Arts Founder Max Krone envisioned it best when he imagined a place where people from all backgrounds could come together and, through the language of art and music, learn of each other’s differences, similarities, aspirations, hopes, and dreams. In doing so, we would go out and make a difference in the world.
From our Idyllwild Arts family to all of you, here’s to a happy and safe holiday season.
President and Head of School