Cultural Equity Statement

To truly achieve ASC’s vision of “Culture for All,” all Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents must have equitable opportunity to participate in the cultural life of our region as audiences, volunteers, artists, administrators, board members and donors.

We believe:

  • Everyone has cultural traditions that are inherently valuable.
  • Artists, scientists and historians play a unique role in challenging inequities and inspiring human understanding, justice and opportunity for all.
  • Cultural equity embodies the values, beliefs, policies and practices that ensure all people are represented in the:
    • Development of arts, science, history and heritage policy;
    • Support of artists and cultural creators;
    • Nurturing of accessible, relevant and innovative venues for expression; and,
    • Just distribution of programmatic, financial and informational resources.

We acknowledge:

  • Systemic, inequitable access to opportunity has led to generations of unjust outcomes for those who have been historically marginalized in mainstream arts and cultural funding, discourse, leadership and resource allocation.
  • Inequity – based on, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, educational status, ability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, immigrant status, language, family structure and physical appearance – must be continually addressed and changed.
  • Cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of the arts and cultural sector.
  • Despite the efforts of many people who have focused on equity in various forms for decades, Charlotte-Mecklenburg has significant work to do in this area.

We will:

  • Champion policies and practices that empower an inclusive and equitable community to support the role of all arts, science and history providers in achieving cultural equity.
  • Embed a commitment to cultural equity in all ASC investments, governance and administrative policies and practices.
  • Invest in cultural competency training for staff, board, volunteers and other key stakeholders.
  • Expand the diversity of leadership within our board, staff, volunteers and advisory bodies.
  • Review and edit our grant, education and public art practices and policies to ensure that more underinvested and underrepresented communities can compete equitably for artist commissions, grants and other financial investments, and that resources are distributed in a way that aligns with the realities of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s diverse population.
  • Commit to continual agency-wide honest reflection, dialogue and evaluation about diversity, inclusion and equity that leads to organizational change and report annually on our progress.

ASC Cultural Equity Statement Background & Process

ASC’s Community Investment Committee, composed of (7) ASC Board members and (5) non-members who are broadly representative of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community, drafted the initial Cultural Equity Statement for ASC in FY19 with the goals of crafting a working definition of cultural equity to guide the future work of ASC, creating a framework to set organizational policies and practices and providing external visibility for the organization’s commitment to cultural equity.

The Equity Statement was approved by the ASC Board on June 19, 2019.

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