An example of D&I in action: equity in funding

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An example of D&I in action: equity in funding

Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy: Statement of Purpose | Grantmakers in the Arts.

Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy: Statement of Purpose

In 2015, Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors approved this statement of purpose for their work in racial equity in arts philanthropy to increase arts funding for ALAANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American) artists, arts organizations, children, and adults.

Grantmakers in the Arts affirms that 

  • All people, their culture, and their art contribute to the meaning and understanding of our humanity and should be honored and celebrated.
  • Artists, their art, their process, and the organizations they create and support play a unique role in witnessing, demonstrating, and providing inspiration to resolve societal inequity and injustice.
  • Sustained racialized public policies and institutional practices, both conscious and unconscious, have resulted in unequal access to education and resources for African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities and artists. This systemic unequal access to opportunity has resulted in generations of unjust and inequitable outcomes for ALAANA communities.
  • These social inequities continue to be reflected in the funding practices of private philanthropy and governmental funders in the arts. Therefore, in order to more equitably support ALAANA communities, arts organizations, and artists, funders should take explicit actions to structurally change funding behaviors and norms.

Grantmakers in the Arts believes that

  • Recommended solutions of the past, which have focused on diversity rather than structural inequities, have not resulted in nationwide successful outcomes in equitable inclusion and/or grantmaking to ALAANA artists and audiences.
  • An historic societal and philanthropic bias for European artforms has undervalued the contributions of ALAANA artforms and artists. Arts funders are encouraged to implement relevant programs and create new structures in which ALAANA communities, artists, and arts organizations benefit as leaders, grantees, and partners.
  • Addressing historic injustices is a vital component of achieving equity for ALAANA communities.

Therefore, the Board of Directors of Grantmakers in the Arts has made racial equity in arts philanthropy a primary focus of the organization. We have committed financial and human resources to educating funders on institutional racism and the power struggle innate within grantmaking. We are committed to addressing structural inequities and increasing philanthropic and governmental support in the arts for ALAANA artists, arts organizations, children, and adults through the following actions:

  • Establish a Racial Equity board committee to oversee and direct GIA’s work in this area.
  • Convene funders nationally/regionally to provide resources and share best practices to create equity for ALAANA organizations and artists.
  • Regularly promote racial equity throughout all GIA’s communication platforms.
  • Advocate research and data collection that accurately represents the demographics served by and serving in arts organizations and foundations.
  • Require all Grantmakers in the Arts board and staff members to attend structural racism training.
  • Intentionally consider and select members from ALAANA populations for the GIA board of directors and staff.
  • Select staff and members for board service whose values include racial equity and social justice.
  • Assure that racial equity conversations are integrated into sessions at the annual conference and that specific sessions or preconferences are offered to educate attendees on inequities in funding ALAANA organizations and artists, understanding structural racism, and the grantmaking power structures.
  • Assure representation by ALAANA artists, keynote speakers, and panelists at annual conferences and other convenings.
  • Maintain a topic area webpage on racial equity in arts philanthropy that includes up to date research and information available to funders and the general public.
  • Provide support for individual members and collective groups of funders who are seeking to achieve greater racial equity in arts philanthropy in their own communities.
  • Work with other national, regional, and local organizations who are also working towards greater racial equity in philanthropy.
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