Grantmakers in the Arts Releases Tools to Aid Arts Funders in Addressing Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy

SEATTLE — Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) has released an expansion of its landmark Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy Statement of Purpose, providing resources, recommendations, and actionable steps to assist grantmakers in advancing racial equity in arts philanthropy. As a growing number of funding institutions begin to examine the history and impacts of systemic racism across the sector, GIA serves as a hub for arts funders participating in this work.

The Statement of Purpose acknowledges that “sustained racialized public policies and institutional practices, both conscious and unconscious, have resulted in unequal access to resources for African, Latino/a, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities and artists.” Grantmakers in the Arts has committed to addressing such inequities by issuing a call to action to funding institutions to enact intentional programs that increase funding to ALAANA artists and arts organizations.

As a national membership association, Grantmakers in the Arts provides resources, professional development, information, and networking opportunities to grantmakers who fund artists and arts organizations. Since 2008 the organization has elevated racial equity as a critical issue affecting the field, encouraging grantmakers to examine their operational and funding practices with a racial equity lens.

Leading by example, GIA published the first iteration of its Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy Statement of Purpose in the spring of 2015 outlining steps the organization planned to take to infuse racial equity practices in its internal operations and its programs. The updated document comes with a new section with recommendations for funding institutions and individuals within those institution, from learning about systemic racism to developing action committees and implementing programmatic changes in how funds are distributed.

In addition to recommendations, the updated Statement of Purpose provides resources including supporting research, webinar recordings, and internal documents relating to GIA’s racial equity work which the organization has made available for transparency and example. By making these materials available to the public, GIA has created an accessible way for arts funders to begin and continue the important work of racial equity in arts philanthropy.

In the spring of 2016, Grantmakers in the Arts contracted Lighthouse Philanthropy Advisors to conduct an audit of GIA’s internal policies, external communications, and organizational practices as they related to goals of racial equity. The executive summary of that audit has been published in this release, as well as a sample request for proposals which funders may use to get started with the auditing process.

In the summer of 2016, GIA held a series of webinars detailing how arts grantmakers can integrate racial equity practices throughout various stages of the grant cycle. Recordings of the highly attended series are now available free to the public.

The updated Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy Statement of Purpose and accompanying recommendations and resources are available at


About Grantmakers in the Arts
Grantmakers in the Arts is the only national association of both public and private arts and culture funders in the US, including independent and family foundations, public agencies, community foundations, corporate philanthropies, nonprofit regrantors, and national service organizations – funders of all shapes and sizes across the US and into Canada.

Monica Thomas, Communications & Publications Manager, Grantmakers in the Arts
(206) 624-2312 |