Cultural equity is consistently cited as a major problem in the arts and theater industry. The recent “Black Lives Matter” protests and calls for theaters to put their “statements of support” into action has focused even more light on this issue. A major impediment to achieving more diversity in this industry is that while all agree that concrete changes must be made, there has been a lack of insight into how and what these changes should entail to garner results.
In order to help theaters achieve their goals of greater cultural equity, Embracing Arlington Arts will be offering an educational project for non-profit arts organizations and other arts professionals throughout Arlington County on developing concrete steps to better serve artists of color — a MUST for the long-term viability of the arts sector.
The project begins with the October 6 airing of a multi-episode podcast series on diversity. Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) leaders were asked their thoughts on the most important changes needed in the arts industry to make it more equitable. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) experts then provided concrete action items to help arts organizations achieve more diversity and based on the changes needed cited by the BIPOC leaders.
While our goal is not to develop the “perfect plan”, we are striving to have several options on the table so that arts organizations can choose the one(s) that best fit their needs to achieve better diversity on stage, in the Board rooms and in the audience.