COMMITTED TO EQUITABLE WORK IN OUR COMMUNITY AND PROGRAMMING
The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance adopted the Statement of Cultural Equity, comprehensively developed by Americans for the Arts, a national arts service organization. We commit to not only build on these dialogues, but to find ways to implement these ideals into all levels of our programming, community engagement practices, and advocacy of policies which support it. We know this work to be our moral obligation to continue to broaden and deepen opportunities for everyone to take part in in the active actions of diversity, inclusion and equity.
Over the past three years, we have continued to stay true to our commitment by investing in programming and intentional outreach to serve our changing community populations, challenges, and needs. We are committed to the active and ongoing engagement of new populations, demographics, stakeholders, and diverse individuals. This is reflected in our annual rigorous individual program evaluation process, rural arts programming, Arts and Healthcare, youth developmental programs, and supporting advocacy for policies and procedures that encourage diverse voices in the decision-making process. This work is reflected in SAACA’s programming investments and both the short and long-term goals.
We have created a foundation that can be both reactional to community needs that change frequently and implement sustained programming delivery in many areas. We believe and invest in collaborative programs which provide access to the arts for all people, everywhere. In addition, we formed our programming to reflect the diversity in broader multi-disciplinary arts practices instead of focusing on one discipline or artistic focus. Our programming is regional, allowing the organization to present programming that is accessible, but it goes directly to the source.
These collaborations are rooted in placing artists, makers, and creatives of all artistic practices and organizations at the program's center. With a lower median household income in Southern Arizona that is below $50,000, our constant focus is on the financial accessibility of programming. In 2020, SAACA saw a major shift in regional programming and artist commissions, which expressed stronger narratives and meaning for social justice priorities.
Definition of Cultural Equity Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.
Acknowledgements & Affirmations
In the United States, there are systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and that must be continuously addressed and changed.
Cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of the arts sector.
We must all hold ourselves accountable, because acknowledging and challenging our inequities and working in partnership is how we will make change happen.
Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society.
The prominent presence of artists challenges inequities and encourages alternatives.
Modeling Through Action
To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, we strive to…
Pursue cultural consciousness throughout our organization through substantive learning and formal, transparent policies.
Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and report organization progress.
Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, and advisory bodies.
Fueling Field Progress To pursue needed systemic change related to equity, we strive to…
Encourage substantive learning to build cultural consciousness and to proliferate pro-equity policies and practices by all of our constituencies and audiences.
Improve the cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the full breadth of American society.
Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress towards cultural equity more visible.
Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes cultural equity.
The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, preservation and advancement of the Arts. SAACA strengthens the bonds between people, place and purpose through collaborative, arts-driven experiences.