A Statement in Support of Racial Equity and Social Justice for Black and Brown People from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the Connecticut Arts Council.
The arts have the singular ability to connect people across the barriers that divide us.
As the movement for racial equity and social justice mobilizes communities across our state and our nation in response to the killing of George Floyd and countless other people of color, the Connecticut Arts Council and the Connecticut Office of the Arts stand in solidarity alongside those demanding urgent change.
We recognize the long and painful fact of racism in our country, enabled by complicit majority silence. We will redouble our efforts to dismantle institutional racism and are committed to amplifying representation and the inclusion of communities of color within our decision making and in the programs we support.
In the months ahead, the Connecticut Arts Council and the Office of the Arts will:
• Prioritize and expand participation in the planning and assessment processes of our work.
• Invest in opportunities for artists, students, and audiences of color.
• Expand programs and services that create a pipeline to professional careers in the arts.
• Continue our work at breaking down barriers and provide greater access to arts funding.
• Create criteria for our grant programs to better evaluate cultural competence as demonstrated by COA’s READI (Relevance, Equity, Access, Diversity and Inclusion) framework.
• Convene state, regional and national partnerships to achieve these priorities.
We invite you to join us to:
• Strengthen the ARTS by committing to the presentation and preservation of work created or interpreted by artists of color.
• Diversify the ARTS by looking beyond the historical offerings that predominantly focus on American culture and history derived from Western European roots.
• Embed the ARTS in Pre-K through 12 educational systems, municipal governments, economic development organizations, health care providers, public safety and judicial agencies, and higher education.
This Solidarity Statement was created and approved by the members of Connecticut Arts Council and the staff of the Connecticut Office of the Arts.