Something about the Lois Lowry series “The Giver” took over me when I learned about the cultural work of beautiful Allina Migoni. In essence, librarians are the keepers of memories.
Allina and I recently met as fellows of the 2020 NALAC Leadership Institute. Each of us 16 fellows had to give a group presentation mapping ourselves and our artistic work/participation. All of them were amazing. I’ll be talking and sharing about them here for the rest of the year. I wanted to start with Allina because, in a sense, she represents the essence of the reason to fight for our voices. Were it not for people like Allina, the stories of the most marginalized and oppressed might be ash.
The lowlifes leading the nation would love to see us burn and drown—their grotesque crimes against humanity demand so many levels of actions. To me, the librarians are the ones that caress the fighters. Fighters need allies and caregivers, and during this talk, Allina describes her work as so.
There are many longtime cultural fighters, many, but NALAC brought Allina and me together, so NALAC and María López de León are in my present presence of mind. Black Lives Matter catapulted a moment for arts and culture I have never experienced before. The layers of workers needed to defend and preserve arts and culture are as crucial as those in the frontlines. From Marta Moreno Vega leading the Cultural Justice Initiative to the Cultural New Deal all national coalitions and individuals working across sectors and the land with them, should help those of you who are still shy to stand up to know that you are not alone.
Allina is behind the scenes but very much an integral part of the fight. She is a protector, a witness, and like Lowry’s “The Giver,” a keeper of memories, the stuff that builds dances, plays, art installations, music…
She walked a lonely path to get to where she is today, all in service of a greater good, following her calling, and that is nobility.
Live long and prosper.