New Silleta Floral Exhibits Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Downtown Disney District

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Several new silletas – floral displays – can be seen in the Downtown Disney District right now. These displays are inspired by Isabela’s flowers in “Encanto,” and each silleta represents a different Corporate Employee Resource Group (BERG) from The Walt Disney Company. Silletas and BERGs are part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to better promote diversity and inclusion.

Source: Disney

Silletas are flower arrangements, usually built on wooden structures and carried on the backs of silleteros – flower growers from Saint Elena in the mountains above Medellin. The annual flower festival, Feria de Las Flores, celebrates the 16-mile journey that silleteros descend from the mountain to deliver their flowers.

“When we worked with each of the BERGs, we wanted to take the beautiful floral piece of Colombian culture and combine it with the culture or group of people we celebrate to create something magical,” said Jeff, head of the complex improvement design team.

“It’s Isabela who creates these huge flower arrangements that honor these different communities and groups,” Jeff explained.

“Our story begins with Isabela at the Poppy Fountain and continues throughout the neighborhood,” said lead designer Brett of Resort Enhancement. “This project is really exciting for me because it’s a touchstone for bigger conversations. Participating in the design of silletas that reflect the identity of other bands and have the level of acceptance that we have had is extremely rewarding and humbling. »

“There’s also something really special about celebrating our Cast Members, who are the heart of this whole exhibit, in the Downtown Disney District,” added Jeff.

It looks like not every silleta is on display yet, but here’s a look at which ones are and the stories behind each one.

COMPASS

Source: Disney

La silleta COMPASS honors the Disneyland Resort COMPASS BERG, which represents communities and allies of the United States of America and the Pacific Islands with the goal of improving relationships with cast members, guests and the community through cultural awareness and business practices.

“The COMPASS silleta resembles the water that connects Asia, the Pacific Islands and Hawaii, and features specific plant materials and regional flowers that are important to the various countries,” Jeff said. This silleta includes traditional flowers like orchids, jasmine, and lotuses that are specific to some of the different cultures represented in COMPASS.

This silleta is not yet exposed.

PRIDE

La silleta PRIDE represents Disneyland Resort PRIDE BERG, which is a welcoming and driving force focused on fostering an environment where all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied actors feel encouraged to be authentic within like outside of Disney.

“The PRIDE silleta was really personal for me, and right now can be very personal for a lot of people,” Jeff said. “This silleta displays the progressive colors of Pride, which are trans-inclusive and inclusive of people of color. It really pushes the statement of progress here at the Disneyland Resort.

SHALOM

The silleta SHALOM represents The Walt Disney Company’s SHALOM BERG, which celebrates the stories and identities of Jewish employees and cast members while promoting advocacy, education, inclusivity and covenanting.

“Silleta SHALOM has very specific plants that are native to Israel,” Jeff said. “This includes the flowers found in Israel’s spring like poppies, cyclamen and narcissus.”

Also on the silleta is an olive tree with six olives, representing the six pillars of the SHALOM BERG mission – synergy, history, alliance, heritage, obligation and meaning. There is also a plaque that says SHALOM in Hebrew with a simple and inspirational message of “Peace” translated underneath.

TO WIN

The WIN silleta represents the Disneyland Resort Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) BERG, which embraces a world where women are inspired and empowered to realize their greatest potential.

“This silleta honors the traditional Colombian silleta and its shape by using materials like lilies and orchids that are traditional to Colombian culture, but done in colors like purple that represent Women’s History Month,” said said Jeff.

The WIN silleta also includes plant materials like thistles, which were inspired by Isabela’s love for unconventional plants. Hints of white flowers around the saddle represent Minnie Mouse’s signature white polka dots.

GREET

Source: Disney

The SALUTE silleta represents the Disneyland Resort SALUTE BERG, which is committed to enhancing the Disney experience for those who have sacrificed to support the military. The Resort Enhancement team worked closely with members of the SALUTE BERG to represent the six branches of the military – Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines Corps and Space Force – with six associated colored stripes.

“Color was very important in the design,” Jeff said. “We wanted to make sure people who were in those branches of the military could see themselves in the display.”

This silleta is not yet exposed.

NAATV

The NAATV silleta represents The Walt Disney Company’s NAATV BERG, which serves as a place of belonging for Native American and Native American colleagues and allies.

“The NAATV silleta has very specific symbolism in the choice of plant materials and colors,” Jeff said. “We worked with our NAATV BERG to ensure the materials used felt personal to the Native and Native American community, as well as the Southern California community.”

The silleta features a circle divided into four quadrants that represent the physical, spiritual, social and emotional balance in a person’s life, along with north, south, east and west arrows pointing the middle to represent the union to form a community. Other elements of the NAATV silleta include medicinal plants like sage and native Southern California flowers like wildflowers and poppies.

IMPULSE

The PULSE silleta represents the Disneyland Resort PULSE BERG (People United to Lead, Serve, & Excel), which advocates the celebration of black culture, educational and professional development, and the well-being of Native and Native Cast Members African and Caribbean.

“The silleta PULSE has a variety of flowers that celebrate the diaspora which is the black and African American communities,” Jeff said. “The ring flowers around the silleta are drawn from Africa, the Caribbean and around the world to show the growth of the African continent and how the community has developed across the world.”

These flowers include African violets and hibiscus, which are seen all over the outer ring of the silleta.

HELLO

La silleta HOLA represents Disneyland Resort HOLA BERG, which supports the advancement of Hispanic, Latino, and Allied Cast Members by impacting market opportunities, championing and developing Hispanic and Latino leaders, and fostering a culturally diverse environment .

This silleta is a much larger screen than the others, with 27 flags in alphabetical order representing 27 nations of the Latino and Hispanic communities.

The plant materials are indigenous to various countries in South America and Central America.

“Colombia is part of the Latinx community,” Jeff said, “and we celebrate that with specific materials that would be in very traditional Colombian silletas.”

Plants like gladioli, sunflowers and lilies are found on the silleta HOLA and are commonly found in traditional Colombian silletas.

ENABLED

La silleta ENABLED represents Disneyland Resort ENABLED BERG, which promotes respect, equality and appreciation for people with disabilities through community, awareness, education and inclusion.

“This silleta represents a very diverse group of people,” Jeff said. The Resort Enhancement team was intentional behind every material used, especially with the golden flowers behind the cognitive symbol (the infinity symbol). “For example, gold has been embraced by the autism community because in the periodic table of elements, gold is represented by the letters AU, which are the first letters of the word autism.”

“Silletas have few hidden meanings,” Jeff said. “Whether it’s the colors or the species of flowers, we wanted to make sure that each silleta honors the community we’re trying to celebrate.”

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