CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 23, 2021) – The Arts & Science Council (ASC), the 62-year-old nonprofit that serves as the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region’s cultural community, shares its inequitable funding history and its journey on the path to cultural equity in its inaugural Cultural Equity report released today. The report is available at ArtsAndScience.org.
“It is important to apologize, acknowledge and accept accountability for the role ASC has played in creating and perpetuating systems and structures that have exacerbated inequities in our cultural community and beyond and publicly assess the steps we have taken to dismantle inequitable systems and policies within ASC,” said ASC Acting President Krista Terrell. “Our intent is that the report honestly reflects the steps – and missteps – we have taken on our path to becoming an organization where our commitment to equity is reflected in everything we do, from our investments in the community to the makeup of our staff and board.”
ASC’s Board of Directors adopted a Cultural Equity Statement in June 2019 to create a framework for organizational policies and practices and provide external visibility for the organization’s commitment to cultural equity. The report outlines ASC’s work-to-date on the “We Will” commitments listed in the statement.
The report details how investment decisions by ASC resulted in inequitable funding of Black-led cultural organizations and cultural organizations of color in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and outlines measures ASC has implemented to better support organizations and programs whose primary intentions, practices and mission are by, for and about African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American artists, cultures and communities. It also outlines ASC’s intentional efforts to better support creative individuals and the broader community.
“We have a lot of work to do in the equity space and an important component of our work is annually reporting to begin the process of accountability of what we said we are committed to do,” said ASC Board Chair Susan Patterson. “We ask for the residents of our community to hold us accountable as well.”
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.