Racial Equity

Grantmakers in the Arts is committed to addressing structural inequities and increasing philanthropic and government support for African, Latino/a, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) artists and arts organizations. Racial equity is a lens through which GIA aims to conduct all of its work, as well as a specific area of its programming. Since 2008, GIA has been elevating racial equity as a critical issue affecting the field. To actualize this work within the sector, GIA published its Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy Statement of Purpose in 2015. Through webinars, articles, convenings, and conference sessions, GIA provides training and information to support arts funders in addressing historic and structural inequity.

An historical outline of GIA's recent work in equity is available online, including GIA Reader articles, blog posts, and YouTube videos from past conference keynote sessions.

February 14, 2018 by admin
The arts and culture sector continues to have conversations on multiple levels about how to advance the causes of equity, inclusion, and diversity. The discussion is not new, but the momentum toward implementing clear action steps is building. A new level of understanding of the ways in which racial and social inequities are the result of complex systemic issues has given rise to a realization that the path to truly effective solutions will require deep, and deeply challenging, institutional change.Read More...
February 14, 2018 by admin
Social movements need the arts. Should we ask tougher questions to optimize their influence? Creative voices, widely and rightfully credited as moving “hearts and mind,” are increasingly understood as playing a core role in speaking to, supporting, or even triggering broader social change. Talented storytellers are disrupting the status quo, fostering new connections, challenging dominant narratives, sharing bold visions for equitable and joyful futures, and creating vehicles for action.Read More...
December 6, 2017 by Monica
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations, have announced the launch of the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF). The multi-year national initiative is aimed at uplifting the largely overlooked contributions of African-Americans by establishing a grant fund for the protection and restoration of African-American historical sites. From the protection of Shockoe Bottom in Richmond to Fort Huachuca Black Officer’s Club in Arizona, the fund will help to support direct action needed to protect threatened sites of historic significance, address critical funding gaps for the preservation of African-American historic sites, and help uncover hidden stories of African-Americans connected to historic sites across the nation.Read More...
November 6, 2017 by admin
These remarks were presented by Rip Rapson, president, The Kresge Foundation, to the closing plenary of the 2017 GIA Conference in Detroit, Michigan, on October 31, 2017. Thank you, Eddie, for such a gracious introduction. Read More...
October 30, 2017 by Steve
Conference blogger Lara Davis reports on the 2017 GIA Preconference. “Nothing about us without us is for us.” This proverb, popularized by South African disability and youth activists, served as the introductory frame for the daylong precon, Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy. These words were presented by facilitators as a challenge to the ways in which institutions may approach racial equity. (Think, colonialism. Think, the opposite of liberatory practices.) It set the tone outright for a conversation and exploration of racial inequity in art philanthropy that is at once structural and foundational to how a nation built upon racialized capitalism, i.e., genocide and slavery, operates. So then, what is the real opportunity for racial equity within this context? The answer to that question is fundamentally rooted in both understanding the historic and persistent role arts philanthropy plays in maintaining racial inequity, and actively working to dismantle the racism rampant within and perpetrated by the field – by shifting power (money, resources, etc.) to ALAANA communities. A mouthful, I know. I’ll let these words by the wonderfully smart and funny Vu Le (Nonprofit AF) state it more succinctly. Read the full post. Read More...
October 12, 2017 by admin
This June, while facing a proposed 2018 budget just large enough to sunset the agency, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu began a keynote address at the 2017 Americans for the Arts conference with a simple but timely question, “What if access to the arts was a human right?” Read More...