The Call for a Cultural New Deal

Roberta Uno, Director of ArtChangeUS, and team are bringing their racial justice and cultural equity lens, to go beyond diversity and inclusion, to actual community benefit.

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.

6 thoughts on “The Call for a Cultural New Deal

    1. Hi Voza,

      How can we move from DEI to community benefit?
      How do our values translate into dollars spent?
      What can we do together that we can’t do apart?

      March 17-23 and April 5-9, ArtChangeUS is pleased to offer 2 open sessions of our virtual Cultural Community Benefits Trainings.

      Based on the ArtChangeUS Cultural Community Benefits Toolkit and facilitated by ArtChangeUS team members and independent creatives in the field, this training will guide participants through creative exercises aimed at unpacking complex equity issues, highlighting best practices that evolve beyond representation to create participatory equity and community benefit.

      In five 2-hour sessions, participants will be guided through five key Principles.

      Working within an anti-racist context, the CCB training offers individuals and organizations creative, practical and meaningful strategies for building commitments to greater diversity, equitable stakeholder relationships, and structural change within their work. Each unit is anchored by a Memorandum of Understanding that becomes a tangible take-away and template for the organization increasing its accountability to its community and a map for institutional change.

      You will come away from the training with:

      A draft MOU that becomes part of your strategy for increasing equity inside your work or workplace
      Innovative resources & methodologies from national arts leaders and community activists
      Uniquely developed engagement exercises & case-building data
      An immersive experience based on the ArtChangeUS CCBP Toolkit
      Enhanced skills for online learning

      These open sessions are meant for individuals from organizations and independent participants. The cost of the workshop includes 11 hours of live, participatory training as well as a printed CCBP Toolkit and immersive Training Workbook.

      Questions? Contact

      Hoping to train the whole team? We also offer trainings tailored to your organization or project. We look forward to working with you!

      This formerly in-person training has been adapted virtually and, at this time, is only available in English, and closed captioning is not available at this time. While this digital training is amenable to many, ArtChangeUS acknowledges that this training is not accessible to some people as we rely on spoken, visual, and digital delivery tools.
      About ArtChangeUS
      ArtChangeUS: Arts in a Changing America has a mission to reframe the national arts conversation by embracing the cultural assets of demographic change. Our work is supported by Ford Foundation and Surdna Foundation. Our infrastructural partner is NEO Philanthropy.

  1. Thanks Voza for your support! We are so indebted to your legacy of work in theater and cultural organizing.
    To endorse the Cultural New Deal go to and also please spread the word about the related ArtChangeUS Cultural Community Benefits Trainings Kassandra gave info on.
    And thank-you Donna for the shout-out and the power of your work. Imua!

  2. Donna,
    Thank you for this information! I agree that it’s time for a New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice. I remember Roberta Uno from her work at Ford–glad to see her spearheading this. I’ll check out the website and will connect with others. As you know, in New Jersey–one of the wealthiest states but one of the most economically unequal–Newark Arts is working hard to help level the playing field. There so many under-resourced BIPOC cultural groups, small businesses and artists in our communities. Can’t wait to connect on this important issue!

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