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.

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 29, 2017 by Monica

The Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation announced they are each committing $3 million over three years to support creative solutions to diversify curatorial and management staff at art museums across the United States.

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November 15, 2017 by Monica

The Art for Justice Fund, launched earlier this year with a $100 million donation from philanthropist Agnes Gund, today announced the first round of grant recipients in the areas of criminal justice reform and the arts. With awards ranging from $100,000 to $7.5 million, a total of $22 million was awarded to 30 innovative programs that seek to safely reduce prison populations, strengthen education and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated people, and humanize people affected by the criminal justice system.

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November 7, 2017 by Monica

Members of the Racial Equity Funders Collaborative in Minnesota recently shared a letter on issues of racial inequity affecting the arts community and how they are working to address them:

We know that ultimately, to advance racial and cultural equity, we must remove barriers in our grantmaking policies and practices and change the distribution of resources. Changing this system will require new ideas and actions. At a minimum, our grantees and partners should expect our giving to reflect the demographics of our community. We are identifying our next steps for advancing this work.

Amidst historical and ongoing wrongs and errors, we are learning how to be more inclusive, equitable, and accountable. We are changing how we work.

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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...
October 10, 2017 by Monica

A recent article from Createquity examines and challenges the common juxtaposition of terms like “mainstream” and “culturally specific” in reference to arts organizations and art forms:

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September 12, 2017 by Monica

The Alliance of Artists Communities has announced the six inaugural recipients of its Diversity and Leadership Fellowship. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the fellowship aims to promote equity in the residency field through direct support of emerging arts administrators of color and administrators with disabilities regardless of their current role.

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August 23, 2017 by Monica

A blog post by Media Impact funders highlights the importance of diversity and representation in media outlets following recent racist violence, and what funders are doing to support diversity in the newsroom:

Many funders recognize that reporting on intolerance is weakened by the persistent problem of lack of diversity in media outlets. [American Society of News Editors’] 2016 Diversity Survey suggests that while newsroom numbers are improving after a long slump, the percentages of female and minority staff still don’t correspond with those of the population.

Media funders are responding with grants to organizations that support diverse journalists and media producers.

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