By Krista Terrell, APR
July 1 is a New Year for ASC and many nonprofits in the creative sector. For ASC, it is an exciting time as we are investing in people, programs and ideas that move us toward a more equitable, sustainable and innovative creative ecosystem.
Our work is possible thanks to our public and private donors that understand, believe in and fund our work to serve all residents of Charlotte-Mecklenburg by funding creative individuals and organizations of all sizes with a cultural equity lens.
Every day, our team is guided by the following values in their planning and execution of the work:
- Equity – the lens through which all decisions are made.
- Community – centering community in all we do, leading by listening.
- Collaboration – starting with partnership, creating with not for.
- Accessibility – opportunity for all to participate.
- Accountability – being honest, transparent and fiscally responsible.
Becoming a more equitable organization remains our top priority. In all aspects of our grantmaking, we are eliminating barriers to access funding opportunities, ensuring there is a broad diversity of community perspectives in decision making, holding ourselves accountable by tracking who we are and are not funding, and mitigating existing inequities in funding. These equity practices lead to equitable distribution of resources. We continue to review our policies and practices and make changes to ensure we are living and advancing our commitment to equity. We will report to the community on our progress in our next cultural equity report.
What will be different about ASC? You will see us lean into our strengths as a Connector, Capacity Builder and Advocate for the sector. This is ASC:
- Investing in a musical that addresses poverty, addiction, HIV/AIDS and the struggles of LGBTQ+ community living in a Southern city.
- Providing North Mecklenburg residents—with a focus on lower-income populations, children and seniors—access to music in non-traditional and traditional venues.
- Helping an artist record a full-length album featuring local Latinx artists and highlights and diversity of Latin music styles created in Charlotte.
- Supporting teens exploring racial and social equity, including the Black Lives Matter movement, through the arts.
- Cultivating experiences and cultural programs that engage residents and foster community in Southern Mecklenburg towns.
- Advocating for equitable distribution of government funds, supporting initiatives and policies that put the artists who fuel our creative economy to work, and so much more.
We have ended our largest grant making program, in terms of dollars invested, that supported the operations of large, mid-sized and small organizations; increased funding from the city of Charlotte and corporate donors is supporting that effort. However, it is important to understand that ASC will continue to support those organizations, along with new and emerging groups and creative individuals – the lifeblood of our creative community – through other ASC grant programs and capacity building efforts.
Thank you for continuing to support ASC and our vision of an equitable, connected community where creativity is central, celebrated and supported.
P.S. Tell us how we are doing. It is important for us to hear from you. You can always share your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.