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Letter from an Artist: Reed Flores & Chris Henrriquez

Dear Wayward Family,

We hope this letter finds you safe and healthy. No doubt, this year has been a chaotic ride. Since March, it's been a nonstop journey of disappointment, anger, heartache, and so much more. But, as the Holiday season continues, and eventually culminates with the new year, our hearts and minds are with you and your loved ones. That said, we'd love to bring you some joy amidst the chaos.

This past month, we put out a call for work created by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We were ecstatic when we received submissions past our goal, and even more ecstatic when these submissions blew our socks off. Almost everyday we texted each other, asking, "Have you read this one yet?!" or "this new season is going to be amazing!" People have entire worlds we have yet to explore, minds that are imaginative, and hearts that are generous and brave. All of that could be surmised in the submissions we received, honest.

In our process, we included students from California State University, Fullerton, our alma mater. These bright minds joined us and were absolutely instrumental in our process of selecting a season. These students are also members of TAUSED, an organization campus dedicated to incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion into practices and protocols in school. So if you, dear reader, were of the mindset that young folx are not as engaged or passionate as they used to be, we hope these three individuals will change your mind. They are going to make our world a better place, and we can't wait to see it.

That said, it's important to note that the call we put out, and the collaboration with those students at CSUF, was entirely online.

So you see, although we cannot be together right now, we hope you know that you can still find family and community. Connecting with folx has never been more important. Sometimes easier said than done, but the importance is still there. We'd like you to know that should you need a family or community to connect with, The Wayward Artist is here--virtually, for now.

At some points, we believe we can change the world. At other points, we're sure we cannot. But the one thing that we do know, is that the world has changed us. Our lives have been changed by this moment in time. And we couldn't have gotten through it without you, our loved ones.

Happy holidays,

Reed Flores & Chris Henrriquez

Wayward Voices Team

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