The Role of Artists in Social and Cultural Change



Creative Capital hosted a juicy topic about race and class in the art world during a pandemic. Facilitators Favianna Rodriguez and Julio Salgado dove straight into the topic of career-limiting challenges for artists of color. For instance, Rodriquez and Salgado highlighted the lack of diversity in arts-based nonprofit staff, especially with executive leadership roles and board seats (it's certainly a challenge for Seattle-area nonprofits). What, then, is the purpose of anti-racist policies if, internally at these organizations, diversity lacks or is clearly not present? Data, Rodriquez suggests, is how to hold nonprofits accountable with diversity initiatives inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Data is how success is measured.


Other nuggets of wisdom included learning three components in which society operates from: (1) Cultural, (2) Economic, and (3) Political. According to Rodriquez, Culture adapts the fastest to world events, followed by Economic, with Political the slowest to move or adapt. As artists, our responsibility is to uplift the Cultural sphere, which influences decision-making in the Economic and Political spheres.


Capitalism is a man-made story.

This was an incredibly useful webinar and I clearly advocate for nonprofit accountability -- anti-racist and anti-discrimination policies are life-long practices and not a "one and done" training or "open letter" posted on social media.


Learn more about The Role of Artists in Social and Cultural Change. The image is a screenshot from their Youtube recording.




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