Blog Posts for cultural equity

Measuring Progress Towards Equity

Posted by Deb Vaughn, Jun 02, 2016 0 comments

Figuring out where to start measuring progress towards equity can be a daunting task. Honestly, any evaluation can be overwhelming when the need is great, the resources are scarce and every outcome is critically important.

But here’s the thing: without evaluation, you will never know whether you’ve made a difference. If you don’t baseline to know where you started, how will you know that what you’re doing is improving things? For that matter, unless you determine what it is you’re trying to change, how will you even know that the change you’re seeing is an improvement?

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The Time is Now for Two Art Worlds to Collide

Posted by Elisheba Johnson, Jun 01, 2016 0 comments

Institutional and cultural change is slow and doesn’t come easy. In my experience there are two art worlds. The one I have lived in for over a decade that is inclusive, creative, queer, DIY, and POC centered. In this world we support each other and produce interesting and challenging art exhibitions in creative, nontraditional spaces.

And then there is the other one, the white male dominated world that reinforces and creates reasons to bar entry to the rest of us.

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Straight Talk

Posted by Mr. Brad Erickson, Jun 01, 2016 0 comments

Cultural equity. Two simple words with seemingly clear, every day meanings. Merriam-Webster confirms the plainness of these words. Cultural: "Of or relating to a particular group's habits, beliefs, traditions, etc.," or "of or relating to the fine arts (such as music, theater, painting, etc.)" And equity: "justice or fairness in the way people are treated, " or "freedom from bias or favoritism." So putting these words together, we've got a concept that speaks about fairness and justice in the realm of arts and culture, about the arts treating people without bias or favoritism.

The Statement on Cultural Equity being released by Americans for the Arts addresses this issue of fairness and justice in the arts in a beautifully simple and straightforward way. Fairness is something we value as Americans, and yet injustice is rife within our nation, and the same power structures that perpetuate inequity in the larger society are present in the cultural sector. We shouldn't be surprised by this and yet, quite often, we are. Aren't we, as workers in the arts, all liberal-minded, good people?

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The State and Statements of Changing Inequities

Posted by Mr. Eric Booth, May 31, 2016 0 comments

In the decades of my arts learning career, I have encountered inequities everywhere I go. In just the week I write this, I have been addressing inequities in the number of musicians of color in U.S. orchestras, in the provision of arts performances in rural areas, in the funding for different kinds of arts groups, and in the persistent preponderance of white teaching artists serving communities of other races.  

There have been long chunks of my career when I "saw" the persistently gross inequities and biases in and around arts organizations, but without really seeing them because I was so intent on other priorities like the quality of the work of teaching artists, fulfilling the purpose of arts education programs, the effectiveness of partnering.  I am not proud that during those years of prioritizing other issues, I was complicit in that unfairness.

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What the Pursuit of Cultural Equity Means to Me

Posted by John Davis, May 31, 2016 0 comments

Access to the arts builds and strengthens community.

Innovative access to the arts can transform communities by creating new venues and opportunities for artists while also offering opportunities for community members to collaborate and engage—providing a platform for preserving the authentic voice and character of their community through creativity.

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Art vs. Racism, Privilege, and Displacement

Posted by Ms. Margy Waller, May 27, 2016 0 comments

Creating greater equity is urgent. This is the discussion we’ve been having at the New Community Visions Initiative convenings across the country. In these gatherings, we’ve focused (or tried to) on community goals as the outcome, and arts sector needs as a means to that end. Importantly, we’re talking about equity through art, not for art.

How do the arts contribute to creating more equitable places?

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