Cultural equity is leading the way to a more equitable, diverse and inclusive community improving the social equity and cultural vitality of the region.
Arts break down cultural barriers and build community bonds through better understanding of diverse cultures. Diversity and inclusion make the Greater Louisville region a welcoming place for residents and newcomers of all backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion increase equity of access, opportunity and prosperity. Arts events and activities in neighborhoods and creative place-making initiatives such as public art and community art gardens increases community engagement and ownership, which is correlated to lower crime rates and safer neighborhoods.
Arts and culture must be welcoming, available and accessible for all Greater Louisvillians, regardless of race, class, age, sex, sexual orientation, immigrant status, or geographic location. Arts and culture assets can play a key role in improving the social equity and cultural vitality of the region helping to solve the region’s most urgent social problems. Inclusion and community cohesion are important issues across the Greater Louisville area, and a number of underserved communities exist, particularly in the west end of Louisville, the city’s southwest quadrant and in the outlying counties beyond Jefferson County.
The Steering Committee has developed and adopted the following statement of cultural equity to guide the activities of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 as the outlined strategies and actions are implemented.
THIS PRIORITY ALREADY IN ACTION
Telling our Tales: Plays from West Louisville
A partnership of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, the Black Media Collaborative and the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville, this program will offer playwriting workshops to West Louisville community members as a tool for exploring critical issues and as a means of celebrating the successes and achievements of West Louisvillians.
Promote cultural equity among arts and culture organizations, artists and funders.
ACTION A: Encourage all arts and culture organizations, artists and funders to adopt or adapt the Cultural Equity Statement endorsed by the Steering Committee.
ACTION B: Help arts and culture organizations and their leadership understand the value and opportunity presented by board, staff and programming diversity through training and development initiatives.
1. Develop an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion “bootcamp” for arts and culture leaders, board members and funders— an intensive course to help existing and potential leaders, funders, and the community to understand the benefits of diversity, help them become more comfortable in the appropriate language to use when talking about diversity, and recognize and address barriers.
2. Create a menu of professional development opportunities on this topic for arts and culture leaders, staff and volunteers.
ACTION C: Increase diversity of board leadership by developing a pipeline of candidates interested in serving on arts and culture boards representing diverse cultural backgrounds.
ACTION D: Increase and support diverse artists and grassroots organizations
1. Build networks for grassroots arts and culture organizations and individual artists.
2. Develop grant opportunities for small or informal grassroots arts and culture providers representing culturally specific groups.
ACTION E: Increase diversity of patrons and programming by developing grant opportunities for diverse and/ or non-traditional audiences and/ or in non-traditional venues.
ACTION F: Develop an arts engagement program to be included in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.