Blog Posts for cultural equity

Maine’s Statewide Census in Arts Education

Posted by Ms. Argy Nestor, May 03, 2017 0 comments

An amazing collaboration in the state of Maine occurred when the Maine Arts Commission enlisted Noel Paul Stookey (the famed singer-songwriter) of Peter, Paul, and Mary to champion the statewide arts education census. The year-long effort achieved a stunning 95% response rate—making it the highest voluntary response rate on record nationally for a survey of this type. Responding principals noted that an important outcome of the census would be to advocate for assessment polices for arts education in order to gather Maine-centric, rather than national, data points that demonstrate the impact of arts education on student performance.

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Over 50 percent of Americans live and work in suburbs. Are 50 percent of them arts leaders?

Posted by Mr. Joshua Heim, Apr 21, 2017 0 comments

If equity and inclusion are of concern to you, then the suburbs should demand your full attention. Almost one-third of the nation’s poor live in suburbs; by 2008, the suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country.  And while minorities only represent 35 percent of suburban residents, more than half of all minority groups in large metro areas live in suburbs. To be clear, the absence of suburban arts leaders isn’t the problem. It’s a symptom. The problem is a set of assumptions that occlude the arts and arts leaders not only in the suburbs, but everywhere.

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Women’s Leadership in the Non-Profit Theatre: Continuing Actions to Shift the Perception

Posted by Kristen van Ginhoven, Apr 20, 2017 0 comments

Women have never held more than 27% of leadership positions in American non-profit theatre. Why? In a field in which “representation” is important to the stories we present to the public, the persistent underrepresentation of female leadership is puzzling and problematic. A 2013 research study was able to unravel some of the reasons behind leadership gender imbalance through a multi-informant and multi-method design, which made clear that the issue is not a pipeline problem. There are sufficient numbers of women in next-in-line positions in the field. Action plans that address this “glass ceiling” need to be developed to correct the disparity and will be explored at the pilot Berkshire Leadership Summit in October 2017.

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Where is a Young Feminist’s Place in the Arts? (Trick Question. Answer: Anywhere and Everywhere!)

Posted by Ms. Sarah Rucker, Apr 20, 2017 0 comments

Arts organizations are very often predominantly staffed by women, but unfortunately this does not eradicate the centuries of patriarchal approaches that block us from allowing equity for all. In the broader non-profit sector, executive roles and boards are often filled by male candidates who keep their posts until retirement. “Top-down” leadership and a competitive spirit that rejects collaboration or promotion of others’ achievements are other examples of this obstruction. Feminism and activism are just as important as ever in our current political climate.

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Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Arts Leaders

Posted by Gabrielle Uballez, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

All children deserve access to quality arts programming, which means that we must not only support in-school arts education programs across the board, but also prioritize schools in low-income neighborhoods and community-based organizations that specialize in mentoring these students outside of school. Serving every student also means providing culturally relevant and economically accessible opportunities in the arts for the overlooked and under-resourced youth between the ages of 14 and 18, especially if we are to create effective pipelines of leadership in the arts.

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Investing in Leadership Development

Posted by Cassie Newman, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

Having worked with arts organizations both large and small, I have learned that it is the leaders at the grassroots level who actually represent and reflect the diverse communities that their programs and organizations aim to serve. Meanwhile, the larger institutions—such as museums, operas and symphonies—are facilitating conversations around the need for greater diversity in arts leadership, but most have not yet overhauled their own practices for cultivating diverse leaders. The arts field needs to invest in developing the necessary leadership skills of emerging professionals whose marginalization is keeping them out of the running for leadership positions at larger arts institutions.  

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