ACCESSIBILITY + TRANSPARENCY
POLICIES AND TRANSPARENCY
At the Field Center we work hard to build containers and systems that are care-full and supportive for our participants, our teachers and our staff. Transparency around how our organization aims to meet those goals is important and some of the realities of life here and our policies are outlined below in order to give folks some insight into where we are in this process.
Informed consent is an active process which starts with providing information to people prior to engagement; they can then make informed decisions about how and whether they choose to engage with people or structures. At the Field Center we strive to be in that work so that those who attend our programs can determine for themselves how they participate.
The bulk of the programs at the Field Center involve somatic inquiry and movement-based trainings or practices. All overnight or multi-day events here also means living in mixed groups of people of differing identities and life experiences, living and working with one another on-site for multiple days. Because of the nature of this work, it is likely that individual emotions, body-based experiences, and even traumas may become activated or agitated during or immediately after events here. While some of the staff or faculty may have knowledge or training in various types of bodywork and therapies, we are not trained therapists and cannot be responsible for all of those many potentials within the group.
By the time we are adults, we have developed the self around a myriad of realities including what we look like, our gender, our sexual preferences, how and where we grew up and our individual needs as people. Family experiences and traumas, the realities of economic injustices, systemic racial harm, bigotry of various kinds and capitalism itself all inform those already complex realities deeply. We recognize that much of this experience lives in our bodies.
We want folks to feel supported and resourced while here! We highly suggest that, if possible, all participants inform their emotional support networks and/or personal therapists that they are planning to attend an event here and be prepared to be on-call or available either during or immediately after events for anything that might come up. We are always available to discuss these things or what might be needed during your time here, please contact us with any questions or concerns!
This is an act of informed consent for both participants and staff.
WHERE IS THE FIELD CENTER?
The Field Center is located just outside of Bellows Falls in Southeastern Vermont [Field Center Land Acknowledgment].
Vermont is a largely rural state in the Northeastern United States. Vermont and its neighbors, New Hampshire and Maine, comprise 3 of the 4 states in the u.s. with the highest percentages of white identified citizens, with Vermont being the most per capita. While those demographics don't by any means tell the complete story, they might help people with context.
Though Vermont has a long history of 'progressive' and 'liberal' political stances and elected officials it is important to understand that those words are political ones and highly contextual. Rural spaces in the u.s. have often not been safe spaces for people of color and queers and the political leanings of states does not mean that the people who live there are immune, or even sensitive to, the realities of racial and gender discrimination or the histories and realities of systemic injustices and oppression in the u.s.
The Field Center explicitly works toward accessibility for all identities of people in attending our events but it is important that we remind folks that we exist in the greater context of the world today and the u.s.
We love our neighbors and we want participants to have a good time exploring the area! We work hard to build bridges and relationships with our local community and we are always happy to suggest some locations and stores with whom we have built relationships!
Still, please use care and intuition when not on campus, knowing that potentials for direct or indirect racial harm, bigotry or homophobia [to name a few] always exist.
We have an 'ambassador program' in place with Bellows Falls Pride [Bellows Falls is one of the nearby villages]. BFP currently provides us with 'chaperones' and 'guides' when possible for Queer folks in our programs who are going into town and would like local support or tours around Queer friendly spaces and places! Let us know and we can arrange that.
Addressing physical accessibility at the Field Center and needs related to disabilities both visible and invisible are important to us and we recognize the complexity of meeting all of those needs. If you are planning to attend an event, teach on-site or live here for any period of time please communicate any disabilities or personal needs you have in advance so we can discuss those things. ASL interpretation and other services can be arranged with enough notice. We currently have a no pet policy in the main building. If you have a service or support animal that you travel with please let us know so we can determine whether we can make an exception.
The Field Center has 3 floors.
The first floor, the second floor and the ground/basement floor. The first floor is fully wheelchair accessible and incudes our office two movement studios, our kitchen, our dining room as well as one wheelchair accessible bathroom. Three of our bedrooms are wheelchair accessible however we do NOT yet have accessible showers in those rooms. The second floor is not accessible to wheelchairs and our ground/basement floor is partially accessible [3 concrete steps outside can be avoided by going over the grass however there is one step up into the building that cannot]. Once inside, the ground floor - including our A/V Lab, Mixed Media space and Laundry rooms are accessible to wheelchairs. Interior access between our floors is limited to stairs at this time.
For more on our Facilities please go HERE
Our pricing and registration structures are designed to make our events as economically accessible as possible. The majority of our events are priced at a sliding scale to recognize our different economies and the structural and racial oppressions that produce them. To expand access we encourage folks who have the resources to pay forward at the sustaining and regular rates.
We also provide non-competitive Scholarships for up to 3-4 BIPOC identified participants for all of our events.
Work trade/exchange is limited but available in all of our programs. More information HERE