About

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Accessibility

Cambridge Arts embraces a vision that welcomes and supports everyone. Believing that a multiplicity of perspectives is essential to a strong society, we are committed, both in our policies and practices, to building participation in and awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the arts and all cultures. In our ongoing work to address cultural and historical inequities, we strive to be a community anchor that reflects the entire Cambridge community and expands access, opportunities, and inclusion in every form of creative expression. We value diverse voices and people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic situations, religions, citizenship statuses, and family configurations.

Cambridge Arts is located on the Indigenous homelands of the Massachusett, Nipmuc, Pawtucket, and Wampanoag peoples. We are guests on this land. We honor the people who were here before colonization, are here now, and will be here in the future. In our work as a cultural organization, we are committed to doing whatever we can to dismantle harmful structures built from violent colonialism. Our work seeks to expand the visibility of and celebrate the histories, cultures, and stories of indigenous peoples, who are of this place.

We are taking the following steps on our path toward inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism and accessibility in our department. All of us at Cambridge Arts are engaged and excited by this work and learning. We work individually and as a team to think deeply on this work, learn, and honestly assess and strengthen our department, policies, practices, roles and responsibilities so that Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Accessibility (IDEAA) practices are centered in everything we do on behalf of the Cambridge community. We are pursuing this work earnestly and honestly so that we can strengthen and improve our connection to and service on behalf of the City.

Cambridge Arts Departmental Conversations, Database, Practice & Outcomes

• Biweekly departmental meetings to discuss IDEAA learnings
• Review of Department Governance & Organizational statements and documents with a goal to better center IDEAA thinking and practices
• Review of Cambridge Arts programming and service through the lenses of IDEAA to make changes and updates that center this thinking and work in our service to the community
• Review of Mayor’s Arts Task Force report (July 2019) for input and learning opportunities and to determine where and how to make positive changes to Cambridge Arts
• Review and Audit of Grant Making practices and outcomes
• Documentation of work and outcomes

City of Cambridge Equity & Inclusion Initiative (CEII)

• Department Head participation in two-year leadership leaning and development cohort program
• Peer-to-Peer Mentorship
• Return learning and practices to employees
• Participation in Community of Practice (Cambridge Arts & CityView 22 departments)

Cultural Equity & Learning Community (CELC)

via Arts Connect International
https://www.culturalequitylc.org/
• CELC Funder to support participation by staff and board members at arts and culture organizations across Cambridge
• CELC Participant: 6-month learning cohort with weekly online lectures, learning tools, educational prompts, and drop-in sessions
• Frequent opportunities to learn from user experts & cultural discussions groups
• Peer-to-Peer mentorship with local, regional and national peers

Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Universal Participation Program Innovation & Learning Network (ILN)

https://massculturalcouncil.org/organizations/universal-participation-initiative/innovation-and-learning-network/
• Sought and Received statewide grant to support participation in MCC Universal Participation Program (2018/2019)
• Participated as one of eight cultural organizations in an Innovation and Learning Network (ILN) cohort
• Engaged and Participated in User-Expert Site Visits for direct review and experience of programs and services
• Participated in four-month workshop series presented by User-Experts on a variety of topics (Attitudinal & Policy Environments, Digital & Information Environments, Communication & Educational Environments, Social Environments & Organizational Access Plan)

The Cambridge Arts Council is

a city agency that funds, promotes, and presents high-quality, community-based arts programming for the benefit of artists, residents, and visitors to Cambridge, MA. Established in 1974, Cambridge Arts is one of the oldest and most dynamic arts agencies in the country. As a public nonprofit, Cambridge Arts operates with funding from local government, private foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors and delivers on its mission by fulfilling three primary roles: 

Connector: Through partnerships with artists, presenters, donors, and audiences, the agency operates as a vital cultural presence in the region. From connecting local youth with professional teaching artists to securing performance space for both emerging and established ensembles and introducing residents to local artists through Cambridge Open Studios, Cambridge Arts links people and resources from across the artistic spectrum to spark innovative collaboration.

Presenter: In addition to exhibitions and educational programming presented in Gallery 344, Cambridge Arts stages high-profile events such as the Cambridge River Festival, a signature city celebration and regional event. The festival features a wide array of music, dance, theater and visual art and attracts a robust audience of close to 200,000 visitors annually.

Funder: Through the Cambridge Arts Grant Program, Cambridge Arts awards dozens of financial grants each year in support of high-quality, community-based art projects representing all artistic disciplines.

Cambridge Arts embraces a vision that welcomes and supports everyone. Believing that a multiplicity of perspectives is essential to a strong society, we are committed, both in our policies and practices, to building participation in and awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the arts and all cultures. In our ongoing work to address cultural and historical inequities, we strive to be a community anchor that reflects the entire Cambridge community and expands access, opportunities, and inclusion in every form of creative expression. We value diverse voices and people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic situations, religions, citizenship statuses, and family configurations.

The Cambridge Arts Council is supported in part by the City of Cambridge, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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