"And the beat goes on................"
Concluding the ABBA Blog Forum with Local Arts Agency leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area (see Monday's blog for the introduction and participant's list).
Equity, diversity and race remain high level priority issues for the entire nonprofit arts field. How are you addressing the challenges in your territory? Are the issues such that solutions will likely require a larger map approach, and is it incumbent on the whole Bay Area to work together for truly meaningful change? What are the principal roles LAAs can, and should, play, and what role does your organization favor?
Kerry Adams Hapner: Racial and cultural equity are primary goals for local arts agencies as we serve all residents. This is true in San Jose, one of the most diverse US cities. Cultural pluralism and access are guiding principles of Cultural Connection: San Jose’s Cultural Plan for 2011-2010. We address equity through cultural funding and initiatives that focus on serving immigrant populations.
Income disparity and affordability are huge pressing issues in San Jose and the Bay Area now. The Ghostship tragedy has placed a national spot light on affordable, safe live and work spaces for artists. The San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs is currently working with the San Jose Housing Department to explore an affordable housing project in downtown San Jose, and we are conducting outreach to the arts community on their specific housing and space needs.
Silicon Valley Creates is developing a critical project in Japantown called the Creative Center for the Arts, which will provide rehearsal, production/studio, and administrative space for arts organization and creative entrepreneurs.
Community Arts Stabilization Trust, the Rainin Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation are among regional funders that, along with local arts agencies, are making significant investments to ensure cultural spaces are retained and sustained in the Bay Area.
- Organizing conversation among local leadership and facilitating networking to bring new voices into the traditional structures;
- Providing or soliciting grants for local organizations to facilitate new transitions, outreach, and programs;
- Gathering and disseminating demographic information, baselines to track progress, and facilitate data sharing;
- Raising awareness for diverse voices and stories of those that are successfully evolving;
- Spearheading relationship cultivation across traditional boundaries;
- And, Actively networking and promoting partnerships with sectors or programs that serve more diverse constituents and help cultivate relationships;
Deep thanks to all the participants on this Forum.
Have a good weekend.