Cultural Equity Commitment

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. resizeimage
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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

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Erie Arts & Culture

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