'Cultural Equity in the Arts' online course offered Fall 2018!

Our popular online Cultural Equity in the Arts course will be offered again in Fall 2018! Available for credit or non-credit, this course will provide emerging, mid-career, and advanced arts leaders with awareness and competency in cultural equity issues, as well as tools to cultivate cultural equity in their organizations and communities. Cultural Equity in the Arts can be taken “a la carte,” or as part of our degree and certificate programs, including AES’s advanced Leadership Certificate in Arts Management.

“Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines, but to ‘be the change’ that is needed,” writes AES Director Dee Boyle-Clapp, “You can provide that leadership or be that spark that moves your arts organization forward. In the last few years the field has embraced that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our work. Among the key issues now are more than fairness, but equity, board diversification, and how to connect community via socially engaged art. There is a lot of work to do on many fronts.”

The issues of cultural equity within arts and culture organizations are multi-faceted. Arts managers need to understand the role that inequity has played in decision making, hiring, programming, funding, arts policy, loss of audience, and audience participation. Arts leaders are now looking at their own institutions, and need the information and tools necessary to address biases, and create equitable and just institutions with deep connections to their surrounding communities.

Dee reflects, “I often hear from both students as well as colleagues the sincere question: 'How do I begin?' Thankfully, AES’s cutting-edge classes offer the opportunity to learn 'how' from key leaders in the field. AES’s Cultural Equity course provides a safe environment to address and understand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of the arts, to try out new language in the safety of a dedicated learning community, and to begin to incorporate these principles in your workplace through a case study.”

Instructor Vicki Meek brings decades of experience to the topic of cultural equity. She leads students to explore the history of inequity in the arts, how “the arts” came to be defined through a Western European lens, how cultural funding affects opportunity, and how systems in our culture and society have prevented building diverse staff and board leadership. Topics include how to create authentically-inclusive programming, how to partner and cross-program with organizations that serve different demographic communities, how to expand audiences for the traditional arts in a time of demographic shift, how to advocate for change, and how to create an organizational infrastructure that promotes equity and diversity. This course will explore the role of personal biases and will help students find new solutions that fit the needs of their community.

“This course provides the opportunity for leaders in the field to dig deep, and not just learn about the problems, but to work toward solutions in our own communities. Working together online will allow participants to learn from one another, to hear a broad range of experiences and stories, and in this uniquely intimate environment, share their ideas with experienced faculty and informed peers. Register for this important class so when your Board or staff ask you 'How do we get started?' you will be ready." said Dee Boyle-Clapp.

Register now to ensure your spot. Classes start September 4. Deadline to register is August 28.

Contact us at aes@acad.umass.edu or 413-545-2360 if you have any questions.

For more information our Leadership Certificate and how to apply, click here.

Photo by Glenn Halog, 2 Blocks of Art. Courtesy of San Francisco Arts Commission for Fundamentals of Arts Management.