I was grateful to learn another side of the Building Healthy Communities story from this session. The footprint of BHC, the California Endowment’s 10-year, 14-site initiative that sought to blend place-based organizing and statewide policy and systems change, is impossible to miss in the public health and community organizing sectors. As someone working in the orbit of TCE and BHC for years, I’d heard much about the initiative’s state and local policy campaigns and its narrative change work to “create an inclusive democracy and close health equity gaps.” But less well-known is this story of arts and culture as a radical community practice that was incubated in the Boyle Heights BHC.
Grantmakers in the Arts
This session shared findings from a partnership between GIA and the Cultural Strategies Council and the National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation to explore how non-arts funders can transform their practice to advance racial justice via cultural expression and the arts.
As another systems practitioner aspiring to transformational systems change (from the public health sector and local government), I greatly appreciated and enjoyed the breadth and sharpness of this panel’s expertise and analysis. First was the reminder by Kiley Arroyo of the Cultural Strategies Council that transformational change involves engaging multiple levers at once—at the foundational level, that of “deep culture” or paradigm change. What happens when we start by decentering the Western, settler colonial, extractive worldview? What happens when we start with a different story?
Forecast Public Art recently released ArtPlace: 10 Years, a publication that tells the story and the work of ArtPlace America.
The 2020 GIA Virtual Convening kicked off today, the first day after a historic week that we are all still taking in and absorbing into our minds, hearts, and bodies. Fittingly, the convening’s keynote began with a performance by viBe Theater Experience, grounding us in the expression through words, music, and movement of Black girls, young women, and gender expansive youth. The keynote panel then moved into a conversation among Sage Crump, Ruha Benjamin and Salome Asega. I don’t need to point out how absolutely right, apropos, and profound it felt to hear Black women’s leadership, wisdom, and creativity at the forefront in this moment!
In a recent series of blog posts entitled The Future We Want, I laid out findings from a number of recent studies of how the grantmaking community has responded to the events of 2020, including the pandemic and the movement for Black lives. Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) has conducted a survey of recent and upcoming changes in arts grantmaking practices, receiving 142 responses, a response rate of over 50% of our members.
A new digital publication from Public Art Forecast, FORWARD, recently released its first issue, How Artists Help Drive Better Public Health Outcomes, focused on public health and artists.
Coco Fusco writes in Hyperallergic that “equity won’t be achieved by a new biennial, another emerging artist of color survey, or a record auction sale by a Black artist.”