Racial Equity in Local Arts Agencies

Saturday, June 15, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

Local arts agencies are leading the way in terms of equity in arts and culture. This session share findings from six case studies of LAAs doing notable work on racial equity, as well as findings related to equity from the 2018 LAA Profile.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore promising practices that LAAs are employing to advance equity in arts and culture.
  2. Learn more about what the broad LAA field is doing, and what progress has occurred in the last 3 years.
  3. Discuss the challenges of doing equity work in arts and culture in municipal settings.

Our thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for its support of the 2018 Local Arts Agency Profile.


Barbara Mumby-Huerta
Director, Community Investments
San Francisco Arts Commission
San Francisco, California

Barbara Mumby-Huerta was born and raised in California’s Central Valley, where her family’s Native American heritage and work as migrant farmers greatly influenced her passion for social justice and equity issues. As Director of Community Investments at the San Francisco Arts Commission, Barbara oversees the Cultural Equity grants program, the Cultural Center Special Fund, the Arts Impact Endowment, Arts Education, and the Street Artist Licensing Program. Annually, she leads the distribution of approximately $11 million dollars to small and mid-sized arts non-profits, individual artists and teaching artists. Prior to joining SFAC, Barbara designed and implemented large-scale early childhood education initiatives and grant programs in both Alameda and Merced County through their respective First 5 organizations. She has also worked as a curator, teaching artist and visual artist working in various mediums such as textiles, metal, wood and clay.

Barbara obtained her undergraduate degrees in Native American Studies and Studio Arts from the University of California Berkeley and Master’s degrees in Museum Studies and Business Administration from the John F Kennedy University. Her research focus has been on the international repatriation of Native American cultural property in relation to healing historical trauma. She is passionate in her support for Indigenous communities in their fight for self-determination and has worked at the grass roots level around environmental and incarceration issues.   

Kristin Sakoda
Executive Director
Los Angeles County Arts Commission
Los Angeles, California

Kristin Sakoda is Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission providing leadership in cultural services for the largest county in the U.S. The agency provides grants to nonprofit organizations, leads arts education and career pathways initiatives, commissions civic artwork, fosters access, equity and inclusion, and advances public-private partnerships and cultural cross-sector strategies to address civic issues.

An arts executive, attorney, and artist, Ms. Sakoda has over 20 years of multi-faceted experience in the cultural field.  A Broadway veteran, she has performed on stages across the globe.  Prior to the Arts Commission, she served as Deputy Commissioner & General Counsel of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) where she led a wide range of strategic, programmatic, legislative, and policy initiatives. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and B.A. from Stanford University.

Under her leadership the Arts Commission will become the official Department of Arts and Culture for Los Angeles County in 2019.

Gulgun Kayim
Director, Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy
City of Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Gülgün has worked across sectors for many years in the fields of public art and location-based performance and directs the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy in the City of Minneapolis. She has authored book chapters, policy documents, reports and articles in the area of creative sector economics, cultural policy and cross-sector collaboration. She researches the role of narrative in the built environment with a focus on socially engaged creative practices, contested landscapes, urban planning and economic development. She holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Minnesota and a Masters Degree in intercultural performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gülgün is a 2017-18 Stanford University Creative Cities Fellow and in 2014 received a public service Rising Star Award from Hamline University in recognition of the innovative Creative City Making program. Her creative work has been presented in the US, Russia, Cyprus and the UK and recognized through a number of local, national and international fellowships, awards and grants. She is a co-founder of Skewed Visions, a Minneapolis based site specific performance collective and core member of the international artist network Mapping Spectral Traces.

Graciela Kahn
Research Manager
Americans for the Arts