Arts Connect - Cultural Equity Statement
Arts Connect is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and access in alignment with the overall mission of our organization to support all forms of artistic expression, so that through our efforts we consistently champion policies and practices of cultural equity that promote and create a just, fair and inclusive community.
DEFINITION OF CULTURAL EQUITY
Cultural equity embodies the demographic mix of a specific collection of peoples, taking into account elements of human differences, including those who have been historically underrepresented, but focusing particularly on race and ethnicity, LGBTQ populations, people with disabilities and women, to ensure that they are included and able to participate fully in the decision-making process as well as all program and event opportunities that are offered by Arts Connect.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND AFFIRMATIONS
• In our community there are systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally based on discriminatory factors and favoritisms that result in inequity and exclusion. These must constantly be addressed, called out and corrected.
• Art reflects people and their social context. It also unifies differences and brings awareness.
• Art unifies. Culture generates social capital and strengthens a community’s character and is critical to the vitality of the arts sector.
• Art brings people together physically – at galleries, museums, performance spaces and culturally through its capacity to tell a community’s shared story, to inspire reflection, and form connections that transcend differences.
• Diversity is important in the arts as it helps dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups.
• Cultural diversity helps us to recognize and respect “ways of being’ that are not necessarily our own. So that as we interact with others we can build bridges to trust, respect and understanding across cultures.
• Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, one which stimulates fresh ideas and encourages alternative thinking.
• We believe that the arts are essential to a life that is fulfilling as well as the mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing of every human being.
MODELLING THROUGH ACTION
In order to work towards our goals of providing authentic leadership that inspires and examples our commitment, we will make every effort to…
• Effect changes and combat the lack of diversity in the arts through more community engagement, mentorship programs, improved engagement practices and, wherever possible, make accommodations for those with financial and/or physical limitations.
• Examine our general practices for any inequities and establish a regular review each year to determine progress and areas for improvement.
• Work to expand our leadership with particular emphasis on board members.
• Strive to be intentional in our engagement and support of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive arts community.
In order to bring about the change we want to see for a fairer and more equitable community, we will make every effort to…
• Continue to grow by challenging our own perceptions and biases in order to access the power of the many diverse experiences and perspectives available through cultural consciousness.
• Develop intentional ways of reaching out to community in order to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone.
• Improve cultural leadership channels by creating and supporting programs and policies that are transparent and foster leadership that is representative of the entire community.
• Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes cultural equity.
• Build an increasingly diverse community by being committed to mitigating bias and creating an environment that supports, respects, and includes all.
• Recognize all forms of creative expression while encouraging different voices and audiences.