A Community Response

Updated June 12, 2020

ArtsNow shares in the heartbreak and outrage felt by so many in Summit County and beyond, and we condemn the pattern of disregard for the lives of Black citizens in America . George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, David McAtee and so many more call us all to do better.

Dismantling systemic racism/white supremacy and moving forward towards justice and an equitable community requires more than words. It requires action. While we look to our government and civic leaders, community members, and others, to lead the charge on ensuring structural justice, artists and creatives have a role to play, too. The arts have always played a role in social movements, and it is through art, through storytelling, and through intentional engagement that we can help in the important work of changing hearts and minds.

We share the following as a public contract with our community. (This commitment to our community will be completed by year-end and will not replace any of the DEIA efforts already underway.)

Advance the Community Priorities in Equity to support Summit County

We will seek resources to pilot a Black Artist Guild as recommended by a focus group on August 7, 2019.

We will conduct implicit bias assessment and training for ArtsNow board and staff.

This year, ArtsNow completed the 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Assessment which examined ArtsNow’s internal structure, systems, and policies to determine where we are doing well and where we need to do more and do better. Using the results and recommendations, we will develop a plan to implement recommendations within the organization.

ArtsNow will convene a task force of board, staff, artists, and community members to develop a plan on addressing racism and the structures that support racism in the arts and culture sector. ArtsNow will encourage arts and culture organizations to do the internal work necessary to become more inclusive, just and equitable.

We will develop a statement of equity for ArtsNow.

Convene Community Forums

ArtsNow will host an open conversation for our arts and culture community. Staff and board will be available to listen and learn and share space.

ArtsNow will contract trained facilitators to allow Summit County’s diverse arts and culture community to come together, discuss issues of shared concern, build relationships of trust, and move those conversations forward from talk to individual and collective action.

Listen and Learn

We are committed to listening. You’re invited to join board members and staff for an open conversation for you to share, and us to listen.  Follow the link to register for your date preference so we can send you log-in information:

June 16, 2020 – 7:00pm – Registration

June 25, 2020 – 4:00pm – Registration

For additional support and information, our friends at The Devil Strip have done a wonderful job compiling Anti-Racism Resources: https://thedevilstrip.com/anti-racism-resources