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Arts Midwest Adopts National Arts Strategies Racial Equity Principles

As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, in August 2020, the Arts Midwest Board of Directors adopted the National Arts Strategies Racial Equity Principles as core guiding principles for our programs, strategies, and operations.

The NAS Racial Equity Principles were created by a global group of NAS Chief Executive Program alumni, including Arts Midwest President & CEO Torrie Allen. Three core principles were created to help the arts and culture field advance racial equity and are the product of a year-long effort of listening, writing, and refining. Those three principles are:

  • We commit to having brave conversations
  • We commit to sharing power
  • We commit to creating programs with the people we serve, rather than for them

“These Racial Equity Principles are the result of a collaboration among a diverse group of arts and culture leaders from across the United States and NAS,” shares Gail Crider, President & CEO of National Arts Strategies. “This group came together out of a love for our communities and desire for racial justice. The principles are an offering to the field for individuals and teams to use as a platform to further change – to debate and question their own practices – just as NAS and all members of the group did when we created them. Our hope is that others will adopt and add on to these principles as part of a greater community that is committed to equity and justice.”

Arts Midwest’s Board of Directors was pleased to adopt these principles, as they are an important step in our long-term journey to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all our work.

“We are grateful to NAS for the painstaking and difficult work required to craft a statement that resonates with a broad range of people and organizations,” reflected Mary Pickard, member of the Arts Midwest Board of Directors and Chair of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.  “It made sense for Arts Midwest to adopt the statement since it was in alignment with our staff and board goals and values. We particularly appreciated that the principles acknowledge the need to keep learning — that there is no perfect endpoint in this work; perfection is not possible. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with other arts organizations as we all aspire to do better.”

To learn more about the NAS Equity Principles, how they were developed, and whether they’re the right framework for your organization, please visit the National Arts Strategies website.