On May 12, 2017, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation staff attended Arts & Cultural Equity: Current Examples & Relevant Strategies, forum organized by the University of Oregon’s Arts Administration program and its Center for Community Arts & Cultural Policy. This forum brought together arts and cultural workers, managers, educators and students to share current insights, experiences, and practices around equity and leadership within arts and culture organizations.
Presenters, including Philip Hillaire (Lummi), Board Member of the Regional Arts and Culture Council, represented a range of equity work within Oregon-based arts and cultural organizations and groups. They, and the audience via guided conversations, gave current examples, actionable strategies, and calls to action regarding purposeful and intentional practice around equity work in managing and leading the arts.
One of the most inspiring sessions was given by Sharifa Johka, Interim Director of Equity & FAIR Experience Manager of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Johka described her work to create, participate in, and support efforts to sustain equity throughout the organization, utilizing affinity groups, an audience development manifesto on how to build diversity and inclusion into their daily work, and interview practices designed to embrace and set into action the company’s values.
Thank you to the UO’s Center for Community Arts & Cultural Policy for organizing this event, in collaboration with the University of Oregon Arts and Administration Program.