Practicing Cultural Equity in Local Arts Agencies: Grantmaking and Beyond

This preconference is for anyone who is working at a local arts agency or nexus organization and who is wondering, "How do I make sure I'm considering equity in my work?"--whether that's grantmaking, professional development, space sharing, or advocacy.


Last year, the Annual Convention featured a preconference on racial equity that began the exploration of how local arts agencies can shift systems and move towards more equitable practice. In 2018, we'll follow that up with an exciting, interactive workshop preconference on moving towards equity in practice, through the lens of how, when, and where we invest our money, time, and energy. Thousands of creative organizations are missing out on our investments--many from communities historically disadvantaged by the nonprofit funding model. Practicing Cultural Equity in Local Arts Agencies Preconference attendees will work with experts and experimenters brainstorming both immediate action steps to take back home and a long-term vision for how we invest in communities through the arts.

In an arts landscape where more and more creative enterprise is happening outside the nonprofit structure—and in a moment when the inequities of our public and private grantmaking systems are being laid bare—how can we expand our definition of “investment” to ensure a strong future for the full spectrum of the arts and culture field? Join your peers and people working on the frontlines of an expanded definition of investment in the arts to learn about the challenges of our current systems, the possibilities of new systems, and a path forward for investing money, time, and capacity more equitably in our cultural ecosystem.

Topics will include:

  • pushing past inequitable definitions that disempower the culture makers and exploring what happens when investment is something that happens with, not to, a community;
  • embracing all the ways your agency works, and how you can bring an equity lens not only to how you distribute funds, but how you consider your time, your other assets, and your messaging;
  • dig into how to bring equity to distributing money, whether through grantmaking, loans, contracts, or other experimental models that are just being explored.



The Practicing Cultural Equity Preconference is generously supported by American Express.

Wednesday, June 13
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm On-Site Check-in/Registration
Thursday, June 14
8:00 am - 6:00 pm On-Site Check-in/Registration
9:00 am - 9:15 am Welcome
9:15 am - 11:00 am Centering Equity and Exploring the Concept of "Investment"
11:00 am - 11:20 am Networking Break
11:20 am - 1:10 pm Your Investment Audit: Exploring Your Current Investment Practices - Money, Time, and Space
1:10 pm - 1:40 pm Lunch Break
1:40 pm - 3:20 pm Examples and Models, and How They Might Apply
3:20 pm - 3:40 pm Networking Break
3:40 pm - 5:20 pm Shifting Power Dynamics to Work Equitably
5:20 pm - 5:30 pm Wrap Up - Day 1
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Precon Party!
Friday, June 15
8:00 am - 8:30 am Welcome, Reflections on Day 1
8:00 am - 6:00 pm On-Site Check-in/Registration
8:30 am - 10:45 am Making Your Equitable Investment Plan, and Preparing for What Awaits You
10:45 am - 11:00 am Wrap Up and Close
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Main Convention & Precon Plus Begins