New Online "Cultural Equity in the Arts" Course in Fall 2017!

The Arts Extension Service (AES) is excited to announce a new online Cultural Equity in the Arts course, which will be offered starting in Fall 2017. 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 new advanced Leadership Certificate in Arts Management.

Today’s arts and culture organizations are confronting the multi-faceted issues of cultural equity and 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.

This new course will 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 will 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. 

“We have been addressing some of the issues of Cultural Equity and the inequities of funding, resources and the effects on programming in our courses through readings, guest speakers and discussion, and our students wanted to have more time devoted to these concerns. This course will provide 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,” said Dee Boyle-Clapp, AES Director. 

Supported by a grant from the Division of Continuing and Professional Education, this course will be taught by a nationally recognized field leader to be announced later this summer. Registration will open on June 5.

Contact us at or 413-545-2360 if you have any questions.

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

Image: San Francisco Arts Commission, Noontime Dance appears on the cover of the Fundamentals of Arts Management, 6th edition