"It has now been more than two years since George Floyd’s murder sparked the historic 2020 summer uprisings for racial justice. Since then, the debate about race in the US has remained center stage. Racial justice movement leaders and organizers continue to demand a reckoning with the nation’s history of racial exclusion and oppression. At the same time, a white nationalist, anti-democratic, and increasingly violent faction has gained prominence," said Nonprofit Quarterly author Kyle Strickland. "A central question is how to advance racial and economic justice while US democracy continues to backslide. Significant challenges remain: public opinion on issues of race continues to waver amid weaponized racist backlash; Republican-led state legislatures are passing sweeping voter suppression measures; and a reactionary Supreme Court is rolling back civil rights and freedoms. Meanwhile, Democrats are divided over strategy, vision, and goals."
From Culture Track: "Untapped Opportunity: Older Americans & the Arts aims to shed light on older generations’ distinct preferences and behaviors to provide relevant insights for cultural engagement. Our findings are focused on the U.S. population aged 55 and over, who were surveyed as part of our Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation national survey, fielded from April 5 to April 30, 2021."
From author Vu for Nonprofit AF: "Justice has been dealt a significant blow. Many of us are distraught, wondering how we can continue when an unceasing barrage of death and violence continues raining down on our communities day after day. However, many of us are more pissed off than anything. We’re going to keep fighting."
"The anemic California polling numbers for this past primary election (12 percent of the population voted) don’t bode well for the fall, but there is a long-sought arts initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot," said author Michael Zwiebach for Classical Voice. "The California Art and Music K-12 Education Funding Initiative has qualified for the general election; as the name states, it’s meant to bolster school arts programs."
"Google's first-ever Image Equity Fellowship is a 6-month, application-based Fellowship awarded to 20 early-career image-based creators of color in the US. Selected Fellows will receive $20,000 in unrestricted funds to create an image-based project that explores and uplifts community(ies) of color with care and nuance."
From TED: "Famed for enormous black-and-white portraits that are pasted on surfaces ranging from the Louvre to the US-Mexico border wall, multimedia artist JR continues to tackle ambitious projects. In this powerfully moving talk, he shares how he made a giant mural on the courtyard floor of a maximum-security prison -- with the help of guards and prisoners alike -- and ended up with much more than a compelling image."
"We are at a historic crossroads — a social, environmental and economic reckoning hastened by COVID-19 and a global movement for racial equity. As arts and culture funders, we’ve seen how the landscape is shifting," said co-authors Rocío Aranda-Alvarado and Lane Harwell. "Artists and storytellers are regrounding and reimagining themselves, reshaping arts infrastructure and systems that have never been equitable or sustainable, and working to realize the narrative possibilities to come."
From the Mellon Foundation, "How can the arts unify racially divided communities? Finding answers to that question was central to the founding mission of Asian Arts Initiative (AAI), a multidisciplinary arts center in Philadelphia that supports Asian American creatives and cultivates meaningful ways for them to connect with local communities through gallery exhibitions, performances, workshops, and other programming with a social purpose."
As Philanthropy New York has been solidifying its commitment to centering racial equity, our programming and networks have evolved as well. One of YLBC’s intentions now reads, 'building a more networked philanthropic sector dedicated to equitable, inclusive, collaborative and innovative philanthropy,'" said Donita Volkwijn, Senior Director, Member Engagement, Philanthropy New York.
"Not everyone is as lucky to have the kind of boss that operated in the values stated above. Goodness, I haven’t always been that lucky and the unlucky moments have come about largely because of how I identify. At this point, most people (at least the ones reading this piece) recognize how racism can cut people off from opportunity. What is harder to recognize is how racism denies members of the BIPOC community the opportunity to learn and grow."
The hybrid event, "Are the Arts Essential?", airs tonight at 6pm PT/9pm ET. "[Zeyba] Rahman and other thought leaders will discuss the book and how art has the power to create connections and provide hope. "