November 28, 2021—I recently had the opportunity to continue the webinar discussion with three esteemed colleagues about the importance of building a culture of belonging within our arts community. I am so happy to share the link with the readers of Arts & Culture Connections.
Sponsored by Arts Reach, an association of arts management, marketing and development professionals, the focus of Part 2 of the webinar was the sharing of action steps that recognize and support the importance of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in all facets of an arts or cultural organization.
Once again, I was joined by Brenda Williams-Butts, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at New York Public Radio; Khalilah Elliot, Founder and Chief Disruptor of Gafford Communications, LLC, and Eugenia Harvey, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for The WNET Group.
One thing is clear: This is ongoing work that requires we disrupt age-old ideas and practices that have systemic roots. It also requires the resolve to step outside of our comfort zones, as well as the fortitude to envision something greater than what we already know. I believe this necessitates that the leaders of our cultural institutions and arts organizations be on the frontlines with their sleeves rolled up, working to ensure that Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are part of their organization’s DNA.
I continue to be amazed by the innovation, passion, fearlessness, and integrity of these three women, who are pioneering this work within their respective organizations. I salute each of you!
I urge the readers of Arts & Culture Connections to check out webinar, in which they shared the top three action steps necessary for building a culture of belonging. Brenda Williams-Butts refers to it as “mission work,” and I couldn’t agree more.