CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 3, 2021) – The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is hosting two virtual community listening sessions titled “Beyond the Sound Bites” to solicit community feedback on its inaugural Cultural Equity Report. Community leaders, who also served as external readers of the report, will co-facilitate the listening sessions on Tuesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, May 13 at noon. The listening sessions are free and open to the public. Registration for the virtual sessions is available at ArtsAndScience.org.
Historian Dr. Tom Hanchett and education equity advocate Janeen Bryant will host the listening session on May 11. Community advocate and senior pastor Dr. Ricky A. Woods and nonprofit consultant Kristin Hills Bradberry will host on May 13. All four served as external readers for ASC’s Cultural Equity report.
“Though much of the conversation thus far has focused on ASC’s apology for its inequitable funding history, it is important to go beyond the sound bites and dig deeper into ASC’s work over the past seven years to becoming a more equitable organization,” said ASC President Krista Terrell. “Our goal is to share ASC’s equity journey and listen to residents’ feedback and incorporate that learning into our work.”
About the Cultural Equity Report
After ASC’s Board of Directors adopted a Cultural Equity Statement in 2019, the organization published its inaugural Cultural Equity Report on February 23, 2021. The report details ASC’s history of upholding inequitable funding practices that privilege white, Eurocentric organizations and creative individuals at the expense of organizations led by people of color and reinforces ASC’s commitment to equitable practices moving forward.
The report also features ASC’s efforts that build cultural equity, such as Culture Blocks, a partnership between ASC and Mecklenburg County to provide community-informed arts and cultural programming in areas in the county with limited access to such resources. Moreover, the report outlines measures that ASC plans to enact to further bolster cultural equity in the arts and cultural sector by supporting and investing in creative individuals and organizations with programming that is by, for, and about Black, Latinx, Asian and indigenous people. The report is available on ArtsAndScience.org.
About the Co-Hosts
Dr. Tom Hanchett is a historian at History South and will co-host the listening session on May 11 with Janeen Bryant, director of operations at the Center for Racial Equity in Education. Hanchett’s knowledge on the role of local and regional history in perpetuating the equities that persist today and Bryant’s expertise on cultural equity will frame their analyses.
Dr. Ricky A. Woods, senior pastor of First Baptist Church-West and community advocate, will lead the listening session on May 13 with nonprofit consultant Kristin Hills Bradberry. Bradberry, a partner at Greenway Group, has been active in the nonprofit sector for the past 30 years. By focusing on community and philanthropy, Woods and Bradberry will illuminate opportunities for and challenges in the pursuit of cultural equity.
ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.
ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Stay up to date on ASC news and happenings at ArtsAndScience.org and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.