February 21, 2021—Many of us working in the arts have been supporting social and racial justice initiatives and movements for decades. Now there is a national effort to unite these creative endeavors around a Call for a Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice.
The Call was spearheaded by ArtChangeUS, the Center for Cultural Power, First Peoples Fund, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Race Forward, and Sipp Culture. It is being offered in the spirit of advancing accountability and collective responsibility and has five demands:
1. The support, recognition, and prioritization of the leadership of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color.
2. The reversal of long-term hiring, funding, and resourcing inequities in the arts and culture sector.
3. Investment in arts and cultural ecosystems for Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.
4. Investment in building healthy communities through centering cultural and racial equity.
5. Accountability, commitment, and integrity in the pursuit of cultural and racial justice.
I have long admired Roberta Uno for her work in philanthropy, the theater and now as head of ArtChangeUS. The Cultural New Deal is an opportunity to collectively advance our work and create a template for equity and accountability. The training and curriculum Roberta and her team have developed, in conjunction with community partners, offers critical and essential guidance.
I urge the readers of Arts & Culture Connections to respond to this Call because our work in culture and arts is inextricably linked to our efforts to hold arts and cultural leaders, policy-makers, and institutions — and ourselves — responsible, accountable, and transparent in achieving equity and justice.
As always, I want to know what you think. Please share your thoughts and comments below.