Outline of GIA’s Work in Equity, 2008–Present

GIA’s work in race and social justice began in 2008 with the creation of the Arts and Social Justice Working Group by Claudine Brown. Initially, GIA focused generally on equity across various identities which have been historically marginalized in philanthropy including race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status. In 2011, GIA’s focus turned specifically to racial equity with a Thought Leader Forum and subsequent actions by the board of directors. At the end of 2014, the GIA Board of Directors established a racial equity board committee, which published GIA’s Racial Equity in Arts Funding Statement of Purpose in March 2015. The statement of purpose and accompanying calls to action continue to be updated regularly.

The following outline of GIA’s work is meant to provide highlights and may not be inclusive of every activity, article, session, or communication.

2019

Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado

The 2019 annual conference program highlighted many examples of art at the intersection, including the work of Motus Theatre, a company that brings law-enforcement leaders on stage to read the autobiographical monologues of undocumented young adults to dispel the false associations between criminality and immigration status. The conference also featured a mix of artists, organizations, and arts supporters, including Gregg Deal, Yo-Yo Ma, Agnes Gund, and Bryan Stevenson. Revisit the Denver Conference through plenary videos on the GIA YouTube channel.

Keynotes/Artists

Reader Articles

Racial Equity in Arts Funding Workshop
GIA hosted Racial Equity in Arts Funding workshops in Seattle, WA and New Brunswick, NJ with participants joining from the region and neighboring states.

President’s Blog

Mosaic Network and Fund
GIA served as review committee members for the Mosaic Network and Fund, which grew out of the ALAANA Project. The Mosaic Network and Fund in The New York Community Trust, a collaboration between 19 foundations, recently committed $4.5 million to fund 27 arts groups that are led by, created for, and accountable to ALAANA people in New York City.

Webinars

Podcasts

2018

GIA has increasingly prioritized incorporating a racial equity lens to examine and design programming for our other core focus areas of Arts Education, Capitalization and Nonprofit Financial Health, and Support for Individual Artists. While we will continue to share highlights of our racial equity programming, we encourage readers to view all of our work with an eye toward how racial equity manifests.

In 2018, new CEO Eddie Torres began establishing GIA’s new headquarters in the South Bronx. Torres was intentional in cultivating and interviewing a diverse slate of candidates and ensured vetted job descriptions that would minimize any barriers in hiring practices, such as removing the education requirement and including a salary range. This effort to maximize reach resulted in filling five of six positions with ALAANA professionals. GIA supports the professional development and ongoing learning of its staff by providing trainings in such skills as public speaking and in the facilitation of racial justice workshops, dialogues, and discussions.

Annual Conference in Oakland, California

GIA’s annual conference was held in Oakland and had the highest rate of attendance up to that point – over 600 participants. GIA responded to a strike by the conference hotel workers by moving the conference out of the hotel and into the cultural community so that no conference participants would be required to cross a picket line compromising their values. The conference sessions were held in Oakland’s art galleries, theaters, rehearsal rooms, with the plenary sessions held in a circus tent. The GIA team made this change happen within two weeks.

GIA communicated these changes to our members in advance, receiving messages of praise for our standing by workers. By the end of the conference, our participants called it our “best conference ever.” In response to the conference survey, 99% of participants asserted that they were “satisfied” to “extremely satisfied” with the overall conference, as well as the curation of the breakout sessions. Videos from the Oakland Conference are now available at the GIA YouTube Channel.

Keynotes/Artists

Racial Equity in Arts Funding workshop
In 2018, GIA expanded the Racial Equity in Arts Funding workshop, which was piloted at the 2017 Detroit conference, and hosted it for 30 grantmakers in Cleveland. In response to the statement, “What I learned from the workshop will be useful to my work,” we had 100% agreement. Out of all workshop participants, 57% “strongly agreed” and 43% “agreed” with the statement. None disagreed.

Webinars

GIA coupled the Racial Equity in Arts Funding workshop with GIA’s most popular webinar of the year, “Real and Not Real: The history of racialization in the United States,” presented by Race Forward and GIA president Eddie Torres in August 2018. The webinar had a record-breaking 200+ registrations and continues to be watched by grantmakers and cultural organizations, nearing 500 additional views by the end of 2018, our most watched webinar. “Real and Not Real: The history of racialization in the United States,” which, at 400 views, received four times move engagement post-recording than our next most popular webinars. This webinar featured Race Forward and GIA discussing the creation and perpetuation of the racial hierarchy, and provided guidance on institutional strategies for diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice, terms often conflated as interchangeable.

President’s Blog

Reader Articles

2017

Board action
The GIA board voted to add a racial equity statement to the organization’s guiding principles.

The GIA board voted to hire Edwin Torres as the organization’s new president & CEO, our first ALAANA person to hold that role. The board also committed to move GIA’s office from Seattle to the South Bronx, to draw attention to often under-resourced communities of color.

Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy workshop
Development in partnership with the Center for Social Inclusion of a day-long workshop for funders, which will be available to communities in 2018 and piloted at the 2017 GIA conference.

ALAANA Project
In partnership with Doris Duke Foundation to support creation of a pilot project with local funders and a cohort of ALAANA organizations.

Webinars

Reader Articles

2016

Audit
During the winter, GIA commissioned a research team to conduct a racial equity audit of its programs, policies, and communications. The audit findings and recommendations were delivered to and reviewed by staff and board in the spring and released publicly in September.

Board action
The racial equity board committee began developing a work plan based on audit findings and recommendations. The board subsequently released an update to its Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy Statement of Purpose, including new recommendations to support members in engaging in racial equity work.

Research
During the summer, GIA commissioned a research team to survey GIA member organizations on their current policies and programs addressing racial equity and to identify case studies of successful programs to share with the membership.

Saint Paul Conference

Podcasts

Web Conferences

Reader Articles

2015

Board action
In March, GIA board of directors approves the proposed Racial Equity in Arts Phianthropy Statement of Purpose and GIA promotes and distributes the statement to its members and the public. Racial equity committee vets all sessions proposed for the GIA annual conference for purposes of integrating a racial equity lens into topics. New GIA board members attend the 2-day anti-racism training with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

Los Angeles Conference

Racial Equity Forum

  • Supporting ALAANA Organizations, June, Atlanta: Grantmakers in the Arts hosted a national dialogue for sixty participants on increasing funding and access to funding for African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) organizations. It was held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Videos and text available on the forum page.

Web Conference

Reader Articles

Blogs

2014

GIA Board Action GIA board creates the Racial Equity Board Committee, chaired by Maurine Knighton to plan, recommend and oversee racial equity in arts philanthropy programs and integration of a racial equity lens into other program areas.  Proposed conference session on equity/racial equity are vetted by the Racial Equity Board Committee and recommended to the conference committee.  New board members attend 2-day anti-racism training of People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.  Racial Equity Board Committee begins work on a statement of purpose for GIA’s work in racial equity in arts philanthropy.

Houston Conference

Thought Leader Forum

  • Constructing Racial Equity, July, New York: Participants from the 2012 Thought Leader Forum came together to share case studies from within their own organizations and to discuss next steps to the process of sharing learning with the field. Facilitated by Lori Villarosa

Reader Articles

Blogs

2013

GIA Board & Staff Workshop Understanding and Undoing Racism, July, Seattle: A two-day workshop led by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

GIA Board Action November: Based on recommendations from the Racial Equity Thought Leader Forum participants, the GIA board adopts the issue of constructing racial equity in arts grantmaking as “core field work”.

Philadelphia Conference

Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy Thought Leader Forum

  • Constructing Racial Equity, December, Chicago: Participants from the 2012 Thought Leader Forum came together to share their work on racial equity within their own organizations and to discuss next steps to the process of sharing learning and best practices with the field. Facilitated by Melinda Weekes, Race Forward.

Reader Articles

Blogs

2012

Miami Conference
Preconference

Sessions

Keynotes/Artists

Thought Leader Forum

  • Understanding and Undoing Racism, June, Pittsburgh: A two-day workshop led by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond attended by 23 social justice funders, plus GIA staff.
  • Deconstructing Racism, November, New York: Those who attended the Pittsburgh workshop were invited to debrief on their experience, identify ways to improve their own grantmaking and make recommendations to the field. Facilitated by Melinda Weekes, Race Forward.

Reader Articles

Web Conferences

Blogs

2011

San Francisco Conference

Reader Articles

Web Conferences

Blogs

2010

Chicago Conference
Preconference

Sessions

Keynotes/Artists

Reader Articles

Blogs

2009

2008