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.

October 22, 2014 by SuJ'n

In October 2014, at the GIA 2014 Conference in Houston, Aaron Dworkin (The Sphinx Organization), Maurine Knighton (Nathan Cummings Foundation), and Roberta Uno (Ford Foundation) presented a session on addressing the significant disparity in how funding reaches underserved communities and smaller arts organizations. Per its design, the intended session outcome was to develop a list of key strategies to address inequitable funding in collaboration with the audience members. Here it is:

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September 23, 2014 by admin
Those in the premodern world who hoarded possessions and refused to redistribute supplies and food, who turned their backs on the weak and the sick, who lived exclusively for hedonism and their own power, were despised. Those in modern society who are shunned as odd, neurotic, or eccentric, who are disconnected from the prosaic world of objective phenomena and fact, would have been valued in premodern cultures for their ability to see what others could not see. Dreams and visions — considered ways to connect with the wisdom of ancestors — were integral to existence in distant times. Read More...
June 30, 2014 by admin
Marco Sanchez was in the third grade in 2010 when the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) launched the Community Opus Project in Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD). Participating in the after-school El Sistema–inspired music program, Marco went home from his Community Opus sessions two days a week and taught his younger brother Rodrigo what he was learning in class. This was not unusual for a Community Opus student, who has been immersed in a program that encourages peer teaching as a cornerstone of its pedagogy. Read More...
June 30, 2014 by admin
For several years my brother, Alex Laing, principal clarinetist for the Phoenix Symphony, and I, senior program officer at the Heinz Endowments, have been having often intense conversations, where my brother probed the thinking behind Heinz Endowments’ grantmaking that placed an emphasis on African and African diasporic culture, distressed neighborhoods, and teaching artists. Heinz Endowments, having taken the advice of Anasa Troutman of the consulting firm Lion and Butterfly, has begun to call this work transformative arts education. Read More...
June 30, 2014 by admin
In January I had the privilege to attend the Future Aesthetics 2.0 retreat, co-organized by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, director of Performing Arts of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and James Kass, executive director of Youth Speaks. Participating were twenty-three performance-based artists, Helicon Collaborative partners Holly Sidford and Alexis Frasz, and Cheryl Ikemiya from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, which funded the project through its Fund for National Projects. Read More...
March 3, 2014 by admin
When the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) set out to produce MicroFest USA: Revitalize, Reconnect, Renew, we wanted to look at the positive impact that art and artists were having on communities around the country. Our intent was twofold: to acknowledge and advance the pioneering and current work of ensemble theaters committed to community-based practice and positive community change (placemaking), and to foster mutual learning with a wider spectrum of artists, cultural workers, and community partners also contributing to community well-being and social change (placemakers). Read More...
March 3, 2014 by admin
A version of this address was delivered by Dr. Dworkin at Carnegie Hall on October 8, 2013. On this seventeenth anniversary of the Sphinx Organization’s work in the field, I felt compelled to speak to our field and nation as a whole regarding diversity, inclusion, and the state of American orchestras. Read More...
March 3, 2014 by admin
This address was delivered by Ms. Lerner at the National Innovation Summit for Arts + Culture in Denver, October 2013. Read More...