Statement on Cultural Equity
ABOUT CULTURAL EQUITY
The pursuit of cultural equity is an active effort to go beyond diversity policies and anti-discrimination laws. Words on paper, laws in books and organizational policies are the first step toward a very simple idea, the arts are for all of us. The struggles of those who have advocated, demonstrated and fought for the freedom for everyone to participate in the arts cannot be underestimated.
Building on those victories, it is our moral obligation to continue to broaden and deepen opportunities for everyone to take part in “the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.”
The Mimbres Region Arts Council, by unanimous vote, adopted the Statement of Cultural Equity, comprehensively developed by Americans for the Arts, a national arts service organization. Their approach to crafting language around the pursuit of cultural equity is a model that is worthy of adopting in our community. We intend to not only build on these dialogues, but to find ways to implement these ideals at a grassroots level here in Southwest New Mexico.
There will be many challenges and progress will undoubtedly be frustrating and slow. Regardless, the Mimbres Region Arts Council is committed to actions that “support a full creative life for all, championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable nation”
Simply put, the Mimbres Region Arts Council wants everyone to have access to all of the crayons in the box, all of the musical notes, all of the steps, and all of the words to create great art in an appreciative and safe environment. Join us in our efforts and remember; Arte Para Todos!
STATEMENT ON CULTURAL EQUITY
DEFINITION OF CULTURAL EQUITY
Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & AFFIRMATIONS
- In the United States, there are systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and that must be continuously addressed and changed.
- Cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of the arts sector.
- We must all hold ourselves accountable, because acknowledging and challenging our inequities and working in partnership is how we will make change happen.
- Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society.
- The prominent presence of artists challenges inequities and encourages alternatives.
MODELING THROUGH ACTION
To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, we strive to…
- Pursue cultural consciousness throughout our organization through substantive learning and formal, transparent policies.
- Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and report organization progress.
- Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, and advisory bodies.
FUELING FIELD PROGRESS
To pursue needed systemic change related to equity, we strive to…
- Encourage substantive learning to build cultural consciousness and to proliferate pro-equity policies and practices by all of our constituencies and audiences.
- Improve the cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the full breadth of American society.
- Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress towards cultural equity more visible.
- Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes cultural equity.
This statement adopted Mimbres Region Arts Council’s Board of Directors on January 18, 2017 is modeled on the work of the national arts organization; Americans for the Arts, Statement on Cultural Equity representing the culmination of a year of work and consultation with members, advisory council members, stakeholders in the arts field, board, staff, and partners throughout the nonprofit sector. For information can be found at http://www.americansforthearts.org/about-americans-for-the-arts/statement-on-cultural-equity.