To support an enriched life for all, Erie Arts & Culture commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, and equitable region. We believe that equity is crucial to the long-term viability of both the arts and culture sector and communities-at-large.
In support of this commitment, we will:
Set annual cultural equity goals, addressing the following types of topics:
Promoting equity within our policies, practices, programs, and services.
Expanding diversity within our board, staff, advisory bodies, volunteers, funders, programming, and beneficiaries.
Advancing the cultural consciousness of all our constituencies and audiences.
Improving the cultural professional pipeline to increasingly attract candidates who reflect the full breadth of Erie County’s population.
Collect data related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress towards our cultural equity goals.
Nibal Ab el Karim leading youth in a summer workshop about Palestinian food and culture
So that we are on the same page, below is how we are defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Diversity - The demographic mix of a specific collection of people, taking into account elements of human differences.
Equity - The promotion of justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.
Inclusion - The degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision making processes within an organization or group.
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.
Acknowledgments and Affirmations:
• In the United States, there are systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally, such that inequity and injustice result. These systems 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. 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.
To lead by example, we...
• Pursue cultural consciousness throughout our organization through an active process of seeing, hearing, learning, and then acting.
• 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.
To advance our sector through systemic change related to equity, we…
• Provide opportunities for substantive learning within the non-profit cultural sector for organizations to build cultural consciousness and to proliferate pro-equity policies and practices.
• Improve the cultural leadership pipeline through professional development opportunities.
• Support programs that reflect the full breadth of our community.
• Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward cultural equity more visible.
• Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes cultural equity.