Cultural Policy Public Learning Series

Open to GIA Members and the public

Grantmakers in the Arts, in partnership with a network of field experts, will present an 8-part national series focused on core elements of cultural policy and new approaches to advancing racial equity through policy structures. Each session will include 90-minutes of instruction and 30-minutes of conversation and questions with leaders in the field. Sessions will occur from June-September 2022. These sessions are open to the general public and will be archived in the GIA resource library so that the learning and access to this professional support content is wide and transparent.

Cultural Policy Action Lab (CPAL) is a national learning series and community of practice for arts and culture leaders in the public sector. It serves to expand knowledge and applied practice in advancing racial justice through arts and culture policy transformation. The series examines common policy frameworks deployed in the public sector such as grantmaking, public art, placemaking, and arts education, and imagines how we might reshape the underlying policies and policy application for more just outcomes for communities.

Past Sessions

Grounding Cultural Policy & Racial Equity in the Public Sector

Wednesday, June 8 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

This session outlined the most common policy mechanisms for arts/culture in the public sector with a lens to how these tools historically have reinforced inequity. Randy Engstrom, Jen Cole, and Estrella Esquilin explore case studies from leaders in the field who have reframed common public policies like cultural plans and cultural space planning with a lens toward belonging, self-determination, and community wealth building.

Public Investment & Grantmaking

Wednesday, June 22 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

Resources cited or used in this session can be found on the Learning Series Resources page.

One of the most common and widely used public policy tools in the arts sector is grant-making investments in artists, cultural agencies and programs. Join Grantmakers in the Arts, and the National Association of State Arts Agencies to understand how granting policies can shift to support wider access and deeper self-determination for BIPOC and other intersectional communities. Featuring a pre-recorded discussion with panelists Ryan Koons (Maryland State Arts Council), Tariana Navas-Nieves (Denver Arts & Venues), and Michael J. Bobbit (Mass Cultural Council) moderated by GIA President Eddie Torres and GIA Board Vice Chair Pam Breaux (The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies).

Infrastructure, Placemaking & Placekeeping

Wednesday, July 6 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

Resources cited or used in this session can be found on the Learning Series Resources page.

Public infrastructure that supports creative activation such as cultural facilities and districts are central to authentic belonging in place. Join David Holland of Western States Arts Federation, and Cezanne Charles of rootoftwo to unpack how policy making often focuses solely on a narrow understanding of “infrastructure” and leaves out other vital conditions like digital access, safety and transportation access, and informal social infrastructures that facilitate community power and wellness. This session will examine new frameworks to consider building more equitable infrastructure policies.

Public Art and Activation

Wednesday, July 20 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

Resources cited or used in this session can be found on the Learning Series Resources page.

Public art is often the most visible manifestation of cultural policy in the public realm, but the underlying funding and policy mechanisms often perpetuate inequality in who creates public art and where public art exists in communities. Join Forecast Public Art to examine new policy iterations that shift investments, fostering self-determination and belonging in our public monuments and art.

Arts Education

Wednesday, August 3 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

Resources cited or used in this session can be found on the Learning Series Resources page.

Each year the federal government and equivalent state and local departments of education spend millions of dollars on arts education programs, largely in program and formula-based granting. Join Creative Generation to examine how BIPOC communities and young people are shaping the structures for design, implementation and evaluation of arts programs and how policies for arts education and youth development can shape better community and youth outcomes.

Creative Workforce Development

Wednesday, August 17 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

Artists are workers; yet the current U.S. Workforce development system that supports training, apprenticeships, and community investment policies to diversify and amplify worker support has largely been disconnected from creative occupational advancement. Join Julio Rodriguez of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Claire Rice of Arts Alliance Illinois to discuss how new frameworks for mapping and amplifying creative worker skills and training needs can open a new set of policy opportunities for the arts and culture sector.

Individual Artist Development

Wednesday, August 31 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

Fellowships, grants and professional development programs are common policy frames in many state and local arts agencies. Public policy generally, and cultural policy specifically, has historically supported institutions vs individuals. Join CAIR Lab in an exploration of how models are emerging to support individual artists, and how that has contributed to more equitable communities.

Artist in Residence & Cultural Strategists

Wednesday, September 14 at 11am PDT | 2pm EDT

In the last two decades many state and local public agencies have invested in artists in residence programs in city agencies from parks to social services. Join CAIR Lab in exploring the policies and support structures that can support artists as cultural strategists, reshaping community input, self-determination and new equitable approaches in the wider public sector policy ecology.