A Message from Liz Shapiro, Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums
To the Arts community,
The Office of the Arts is committed to our READI principles – Relevance, Equity, Access, Diversity and Inclusion. Research shows a lack of diversity in the arts administration workforce. The 2021 Elizabeth Mahaffey guidelines intended to speak clearly to and support a population that is not well represented in these roles.
Inquiries to the Office of the Arts questioning the legality of restricting eligibility for the Mahaffey Award to BIPOC applicants have resulted in a change to the program guidelines as initially released. To conform with state law that says, All services of every state agency shall be performed without discrimination based upon race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, intellectual disability, mental disability, learning disability, physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness, or status as a veteran, the award application is now open to all applicants.
COA staff closed the application process for 48 hours during which time staff reviewed the Mahaffey application in its entirety. Several changes have been made, and additional questions have been added. I regret any inconvenience that this has caused for applicants.
The Office of the Arts is committed to growing the process of transparency in our granting programs, and we are committed to taking action in every way we are able to empower the voices of oppressed communities. We believe that an arts community that represents all voices supercharges the power of the arts for creating good in this world.
If you have questions about this, or if you would like to join COA to help lead our work for change, please feel free to reach out.
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