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.

January 18, 2017 by Monica

A recent blog post on The Huffington Post expresses the importance of equity as New York City works to create its first-ever cultural plan:

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January 3, 2017 by Monica

The New York Community Trust has announced a new program called The Liberty Fund, a “special funding opportunity to help New York City nonprofits address immediate issues affecting vulnerable New Yorkers.” The fund is a partnership with the New York Foundation and aims to address issues related to identity-based discrimination, mental health, health care, immigrant rights, and other time-sensitive needs.

Learn more.

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January 9, 2017 by Monica

A recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review advocates a “shift from a framework that grounds giving in ‘charity’ to one that grounds giving in ‘justice.’” The authors ask funders to interrogate the historic inequities which have made philanthropy necessary, offering a set of questions for philanthropic field to examine their own practices under this framework.

Read the article.

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November 21, 2016 by Monica

A recent article in Crain’s Chicago Business highlights the work of Enrich Chicago, “a coalition of 14 nonprofits and seven foundations whose goal is racial equity, in terms of management, funding, and artist support, for Chicago-area ALAANA nonprofits by 2050.” The coalition was founded in 2014 by Angelique Power, GIA board member and president of The Field Foundation of Illinois, and Brett Batterson, former executive director of Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

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November 16, 2016 by Monica

As the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture releases its Racial Equity Statement, Director Randy Engstrom writes on how the arts can lead the way to cross-sector, community-wide change:

Arts are how we can achieve racial equity in our institutions, and in our lives. They hold the power to capture, nourish and move us. They serve as a vehicle for radical social change, and are an effective strategy to address the pressing issues of our time. We believe that we need to center the arts in our strategy, but look beyond our field to affect change structurally, in partnership with the community, City departments, other institutions and jurisdictions, so we can help build racial equity in housing, criminal justice, education, jobs, the environment and more.
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October 7, 2016 by Monica

The League of American Orchestras has released two reports on diversity in orchestras. The first, Forty Years of Fellowships, analyzes the efficacy and impact of fellowship programs for African American and Latino musicians. The second report, Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field examines diversity among orchestra staff, boards, conductors and instrumentalists.

Read the reports.

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October 8, 2016 by admin
I was lucky as a young artist, with the ink still drying on my BFA, to learn about working in the public art field through a Minneapolis-based CETA program in 1977. CETA (Comprehensive Employment Training Act) was a federal jobs program that included several arts initiatives around the country. As gallery director of City Art Productions — the name of the one-year program initiated by Melisande Charles at the Minneapolis Arts Commission — I got to organize exhibits of CETA artists at libraries, plazas, government centers, and parks throughout the city. Read More...
October 5, 2016 by admin
The Impetuses to Begin the Racial Equity Funders Collaborative Glyn Northington, Special Initiatives director, Nonprofits Assistance Fund Read More...
October 3, 2016 by admin
I am inspired by the article in this 2016 fall issue of the Reader by Minnesota arts funders who for several years have been on a quest to further racial equity in arts philanthropy in their communities. Grantmakers in the Arts began our work in racial equity in 2012, and like this group, we slowly built our vocabulary, our understanding, and our vision for action. Minnesotans are doing the same. Read More...
September 27, 2016 by Monica

A new report commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation surveys the efforts of 15 foundations, including Ford Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Surdna Foundation, that are working to “incorporate equity — both in their internal operations and in their grantmaking.” The Road to Achieving Equity presents key findings from the survey, challenges the foundations have faced, and recommendations for foundations looking to begin their own work toward equity.

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