For too long racism has been an ongoing presence in the lived experience of Black Indigenous People of Color and a subject of ignorance, denial, apathy, taboo and discomfort for White People.  Periodically the brutal truth of White Cultural Supremacy grabs the national attention and quickly fades into the background for White people.  Toni Morrison said in a 1993 interview “My feeling is that white people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they can do about it.”  As Palomar College, a predominantly White institution, commits to a cultural transformation, we all have a role to play, and the first step is ending the silence.

It’s Monumental . . .  Ending the Silence is a virtual arts and communications festival to engage our campus and community in a civic dialogue. We will use  Arts and Communications to explore the dynamics of racism/antiracism, anti-blackness, white cultural supremacy and the fluid concepts that develop as we expand our understanding of these phenomena in our society. Works created across our campus and community will be the springboards for public forums and personal conversations as we grapple to understand the complexity of building and sustaining a multiracial democracy.

We hope to inspire creative ways to fill the vacuum of silence. We hope that faculty will encourage and invite students to use this topic for individual or group assignments. We hope that other educational institutions and organizations will add their voices to the dialogue as collaborators, creators, or dialogue partners. We hope that individuals will find us a brave community of support to communicate their lived experiences and complex perspectives. And we hope to foster an environment of compassionate listening.


Monuments are metaphors embedded in our physical landscape, collective imaginations and value systems. They structure the way we see the world and understand our story. The starting point for the creation of each work for our festival is a “Monument” using an expanded understanding of monuments to include (but not limited to):

  • Physical monuments such as Confederate statues that valorize our racist past
  • Ideas that have monumentalized in our founding documents, legal systems, cultural practices and  family
    narratives etc.
  • Recent monuments that deserve greater attention, such as the Equal Justice Initiative Lynching Memorial
  • Imaginary monuments that we envision replacing the old ones
  • Others to be discovered


Who Can Participate

Participation is open to everyone who wishes to contribute or support the project. While the primary focus is on Palomar College Faculty, Students, Staff, Administrators and Community Members, we invite participation and partnership from the community at large including individuals, organizations and educational institutions.   We are building a list of participants in any of the following categories:

  • Creative Collaborators- Join our ensemble of artists creating original works for this project
  • Individual Contributors – Submit a performance, artwork, speech or essay
  • Dialogue Partners – Individuals or organizations that help facilitate productive dialogues, panels etc.
  • Project Volunteers
  • Public Outreach Amplifiers – anyone who is willing to help spread the word.

If you are interested, please use the button below to fill out our participation survey.


Participation Survey

Teachers Rapid Response

Palomar College has committed to an antiracist cultural transformation. Do your part by offering this topic as part of an assignment, group project or extra credit.  All Colleges are invited to participate. Can you imagine your students’ work having a platform in our virtual festival? Please use the button below to share your contact information. 


Teacher Contact Information


Imaginary Monuments

Imaginary Monuments are works that imagine wholly new, theoretical monuments to reframe the American experience and aspirations with an accurate view of our racial history and it’s dissonance with our avowed value system. Imaginary monuments to celebrate, commemorate, complicate and challenge.

Lifting Voices

We are dedicated to creating a supportive platform for marginalized voices to share their lived experiences, viewpoints and creative expressions. Lifting Voices encourages works that transform personal experiences into public expression. Your voice deserves to be heard.

Difficult Conversations

Political change starts with personal action.These works use the empathy inherent in art to explore how we can engage in difficult conversations in our everyday lives. How do white allies and accomplices have productive conversations with their resistant family, friends and acquaintances? What are the pitfalls that prevent communication within the the coalition fighting for equity and justice? What other difficult conversations inhabit the landscape of this fraught but hopeful moment? How can we help each other move through these conversations toward progress?

Making the Invisible VISIBLE

Art has the capacity open our eyes, hearts and minds to see the world in new ways.  These works use narrative and metaphor to tell important personal and collective stories that have been obscured by the victors of history and to make visible the hidden systems and connections that obstruct the path to equity and justice.

Create Your Own Category

Do you have an idea that doesn’t fit neatly into one of these categories? No problem. Expand on our framework with your own approach to ending the silence about racism in our society. Your ideas are vital to fostering productive communication about the dynamics of racism, antiracism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy culture. These are fluid concepts that develop as we expand our understanding of these phenomena in our society.


Creatives • Collaborators • Contributors

We imagine many formats for communication & hope some of you will suggest other formats we have not yet imagined.  So far our recommended formats include:

Poetry • Speeches • Essays • Songs & Musical Compositions • Solo and Ensemble Dances • Visual Art in all Media • Video Art •  Short Stories • Tik Toks  •  Short plays & Monologues • And . . .  

Submissions, Connections and Encouragement

If you are considering submitting a piece to the festival and would like connect with us please email mmufson@palomar.edu 

Writings for Live Performance by Monumental Ensemble Deadline March 26

If you have  a written work that you would like the Monumental Ensemble to perform live:

  • Short Play
  • Poem
  • Short Story
  • Speech
  • Original Creation

Please submit it by March 26 using our Monumental Collector Form.

A Performance Work for Live Performance • Proposal Deadline March 26

If you are preparing a live performance work that you would like to include in the live component of the festival:

  • Short Play
  • Song or Musical Composition
  • Dance Piece
  • Spoken Word Poetry
  • Short Story
  • Speech

Please submit a proposal using our Monumental Collector Form.

A Work To Be Showcased in a Virtual Gallery • Deadline April 30

If you have a completed work to be showcased in a virtual gallery:

  • Visual Art
  • Video Composition
  • Short Film/Video
  • Recorded Musical Performance
  • Recorded Dance Performance
  • Recorded or Written Speech
  • Recorded or Written Poem
  • Written Essay or Short Story
  • Original Creation

Please submit by April 30 using our Monumental Collector Form.

The Festival • May 13-16 • 2021

Live Performance Zoom Stage

  • Theatre, Dance & Music Performances
  • Spoken Word Poetry
  • Readings and Speeches

Virtual Galleries 

  • Visual Art
  • Video Compositions
  • Written works – Short Stories, Poems, Essays

Dialogue Opportunities

Roundtable and facilitated dialogues on Zoom, to respond, process, reimagine and organize!