Hi Everyone,


Please see this week’s roundup of Black Lives Matter, protests and equity-centered news. I’m also happy to share this blog post that went up on ArtsBlog this week on protest and projection art:







Jessica Stern

Private Sector Initiatives Programs Manager

Americans for the Arts

212-223-2787 x2077


From: Ruby Lopez Harper <rharper@artsusa.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 10:59 AM
Subject: October 21: Black Lives Matter, protests and equity-centered weekly news roundup


Hello/hola, esteemed colleagues:


In response to requests for information, national context and what is happening in other communities, we are compiling this digest to support you in navigating current events and in your commitment to equity in the long term. We will circulate this news digest weekly, every Wednesday. While this is certainly not a comprehensive or exhaustive list, we hope it boosts you in your exploration, knowledge and awareness building.


We are looking at additional ways to support your equity work and welcome resources, ideas, examples and opportunities to share with the field. Please send them to services@artsusa.org.


We invite you to share this news roundup with your networks and colleagues. Visit our Cultural Equity Resource Center for more information and past resources.


Thank you for your continued work.



(We will feature new offerings here – free to low-cost opportunities. Previous listings have been moved down to below the signature)

by Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. RISCA is hosting a panel of speakers discussing how they or their organizations have pivoted or adapted their art practice during the pandemic through an equity lens. The speakers will present a COVID-19 prompted PIVOT to their practice that they implemented to better serve their community, sharing with panel attendees a strategy or tool they learned.














Thanks for reading. We hope you find this news digest to be a helpful tool to support your equity work, and welcome feedback at services@artsusa.org. If you were forwarded this and want to sign up for the Local Arts Network listserv to receive it directly, click here.



Ruby Lopez Harper

Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement

Americans for the Arts

Pronouns: she/her/hers



Presented by Creative Justice Initiative. Our multidisciplinary model has long been racially marginalized, systemically misunderstood, and critically underfunded. Our work adheres to aesthetic valuing, honoring perspectives and histories of the many cultural groups that have built this nation, not to the mythology of one dominant racial group imposing a colonizing aesthetic. These conversations explore the ways in which we continue to secure a future with global and national allies. We must examine and determine how unjust laws can be changed, ensuring that we institute actual legal protections as we thrive, not just survive. We must establish the basis for just frameworks - new philanthropic models that shore up funding for our community based cultural organizations, as informed by our knowledge, our work, and shaped by our mission and voices. The CONVERSATIONS are designed to address the systemic injustices that continue to oppress and limit the possibilities of the majority of the nation’s Black, Afro Latin, Latinx, Native, Asian, LGBTQIA+/Two Spirit, People with Disabilities, and economically poor White communities. Our commitment and actions will continue to create the society promised by the Constitution of the United States built on the humanistic democracy principles of the Iroquois Nation.

Presented by Possibility Project. We want to talk about the lack of diversity and representation of community in the sector, and dive into questions like, how can we best help leaders and communities of color access and hold power? Where can we best support changemakers of color and be the accomplices they need?

Presented as part of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity's Forum Series. Join us for our next forum on October 8 at 11am with Dr. Melissa Crum (@MelissaCrum). She'll be presenting a 'Race and Identity Definitions Toolkit for Educators' that you won't want to miss!

Presented by Illinois State Museum. Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) is the work of many American museums today, but just a few years ago, very few major museums were conscious of the need to be inclusive. At the same time, museum workers have pushed for change and a recognition of how museums perpetuate racist practice when unchecked. Who needs to part of this change in museums? Everyone. From the board room, the C-suite, to the museum classroom, each of us have a role in becoming anti-racist in our lives and museum spaces.

Presented by Independent Sector. Upswell 2020 is about the two most important things facing every changemaker in the United States: ending racism and recovering from the pandemic.

How we respond in this moment of extreme urgency will determine nothing less than the future of our nation. So, we’re inviting you to show up. Claim your agency. Elevate your ideas. Amplify your voice. Get creative, innovative, passionate, and relentlessly determined. Because it’s going to take the very best you’ve got – and the very best the rest of us have got – to heal our nation and create a society where every person can thrive.

Presented by ArtEquity. A series created by Black, Indigenous, People of Color for Black, Indigenous, People of Color who survived and are surviving Predominantly White Institutions. This series is created for the community at no cost to participants. 

An Online Event Presented by Art World Conference. How do we define value in the art world? How should our values influence resource allocation? How can we work toward greater equity and a solidarity economy? Between the pandemic, protests, and the Zoomification of our world, 2020 marks a pivotal moment in cultural development. Crisis threatens the very nature of what many of us do, yet it also affords us a moment to stop, think, and assess the systems that have historically guided us. The current moment is an invitation to critique and rebuild the way in which we assign value, with our own values in mind. Art World Conference addresses market-driven economic realities, while foregrounding creative solutions and the solidarity economy. Financial health, sustainability, and best business practices will be discussed through a lens of diversity, equity, and social justice. Programming will address many of the unique opportunities and challenges faced by visual artists, freelancers, and arts professionals. Topics include financial and legal issues ranging from sales, credit, investing, and licensing, to the broader context of defining and asserting value, solidarity, and the importance of community.

Presented by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. The “Anti-Racism as Organizational Compass” series offers the opportunity to listen to intimate conversations with six BIPOC-led arts organizations that center anti-racism in mission and practice. Each organization offers its unique perspective on holding true to their values while still navigating the non-profit industrial complex, and using the arts as a vehicle for advocating for liberation of their communities. These dialogues will be facilitated by Masharika Prejean Maddison of LightWell Coaching + Consulting. As transparent co-learners, the Guild will provide an opening framework for the interview series by sharing its own history, and, in closing, will reflect on its own anti-racism work and lessons learned. After attending each dialogue on a Monday, you will be invited to a follow-up reflection session the following day facilitated by Toya Lillard of viBe Theater Experience. These reflection sessions will provide attendees an opportunity to process the conversation with other participants, share personal insights, and think through the changes you wish to activate within your own practice or organization. The series is open to all. You can register for the series as a whole, or for individual dialogues.

Hosted by 3Arts. This year we’re bringing more joy than ever to our annual celebration of Chicago artists. We’ll announce the recipients of 2020 3Arts Awards and the Make a Wave grantees, share some big news about our expanding support for artists across our city, and begin a tradition of splitting donations with two admired organizations that are part of the ecosystem that supports artists--because we're all in this together.

Presented by Nonprofit HR. How high on the scale would your employees rank their sense of belonging in your organization? It is not enough to assume that your employees feel connected and like they belong at work. The third-highest driver for voluntary turnover in organizations, 26.2%, was dissatisfaction and disengagement with current organizational culture according to Nonprofit HR’s 2019 Retention Practices Survey. Belonging is linked to increased job performance and can strengthen employee engagement. Understanding the extent to which your diverse staff feels a part of the culture is critical to your DEI efforts.

Presented by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Against the backdrop of social justice movements, employees, customers, and stakeholders are calling for greater equity in the workplace. 

In this session, world-renowned DEI expert Jennifer Brown will share a comprehensive approach for creating lasting change, starting with how inclusive leaders can foster a sense of belonging, psychological safety, and solidarity amongst their teams. She will also discuss how leaders can confront and advocate for change on a structural level, offering approaches for changing inequitable organizational processes, overcoming implicit bias, and more.

Presented by Candid Learning. Join Candid’s panel of prominent national and regional arts funders for a lively discussion of how grantmakers are reimagining institutional funding during an ongoing global pandemic and a society-wide racial justice movement. 

This series is presented by the UrbanArt Commission, in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia and Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College. The Art + Environmental Justice Conversation Series brings leading socially-engaged artists from across the country together with Memphis organizers, to discuss the importance of art at the intersection of environmental activism and struggles for social justice.

Presented by Denver Arts & Venues. The conversation will be framed around what organizations can do to take action with regards to Race and Social Justice. Additional questions will be requested prior to the event. In preparation for the session, participants are encouraged to view the recording of the IMAGINE 2020 Speaker Series: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 101, https://vimeo.com/370367348, the first session of the “Anti-Racism” series, vimeo.com/445409394, and the second session of the "Anti-Racism" series, vimeo.com/459021477

Hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. How does your organization determine which programs to present and whose cultures to privilege or promote? Do these discussions occur at all around your meeting tables? How can increased cultural awareness and understanding be an outcome of arts provision? Let's discuss over lunch!

Presented by WELD. October 29th is 2020 Latina Equal Pay Day. Latinas make just $0.54 compared to every $1.00 that white men earn. Now more than ever, we must work collectively to eliminate pay disparity that women and women of color face. Join us for a three-part national forum that will include calls to action to close the gap.

Hosted by Creative Capital. This workshop takes artists through a framework for values-based storytelling and share examples of how to put those values into practice. As artists step into their power to build and shape narratives that affect the lives of those around them, it is important to consider not just what stories are told, but how stories are told. Values-based, ethical storytelling practices center the process as much as the outcome. Progressive cultural work requires that artists employ storytelling practices that are grounded in respect, ethics, nuance, and anti-racism. Led by creative strategist and documentary impact producer Sonya Childress, this workshop will take artists through a framework for values-based storytelling and share examples of how storytellers might put those values into practice. This workshop is taught by and for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artist disruptors to strengthen their craft, practice and build power.

Hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Are you concerned you may be using the wrong titles, nomenclature, parts of speech, or colloquial terms when referring to, or speaking about, guests or visitors with disabilities? Wonder no more: enter a safe space where we can talk about just this and ensure that future conversations will be respectful and appropriate.

Hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Sometimes when we talk about inclusive cultures, we focus only on race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, and gender expression. Let's not forget that there are other employees and guests who are underserved because of family-unfriendly policies or practices. Talking openly and beginning to solve these issues will go a long way towards full inclusion.