In 2018, A&BC embarked on a Racial Equity Assessment with Justice Informed, which included customized training and in-person workshops for staff and board, and the development of our Racial Equity statement (August 2019) which commits us to championing policies and practices of racial equity that empower a just and creative Chicago. Our commitment is further exemplified in our value statements.
- Relationships Matter – We value kindness, sincerity, and honesty as they inspire empowerment and transformation.
- Diversity Builds Capacity – We value the inclusion of multiple identities and perspectives, enabling us to make better decisions.
- Mutuality is Essential – We value partnerships with those who also champion policies and practices of social equity and justice.
A&BC utilizes learnings from “Point The Way” (2017) by Learning for Action of a coalition of Chicago arts and culture funders and capacity builders, shows nonprofit organizations in resource-depleted areas (often communities of color) experience a significant disadvantage in management capacity and infrastructure, facing greater challenges to accessing resources; and the Chicago Park District’s 2021 report “Reflections and Motions for an Equitable Artistic Ecosystem,” which highlights the sustainability of organizations and collectives, as being directly tied to the capacity of individual leaders.
Additionally, the Field Foundation of Illinois’s “Heat Maps” (2016) show residents in the study area are less than 10% Caucasian, which leads us to understand how racial inequity may be a factor in the decline in Chicago’s artistic vibrancy (Since 2015, Chicago’s ranking has dropped from 10th to 15th in 2020- the last year cities were “ranked”).
Inspired by the “Heat Maps”, A&BC analyzed its own Engagement Map, to see how many creatives we served in the Field Foundation’s study area. We found barely any cross over, and avowed to reach artmakers in all 77 communities.
Starting in 2019, A&BC works to expand and deepen its delivery of programs and services through the 77 Communities Initiative (77CI) – a realignment of resources to prioritize supporting creative enterprises in historically divested communities.
Through 77CI, A&BC:
- Gives principal consideration to minorities along with communities and enterprises that are perpetually marginalized in the arts and culture landscape due to historical and cultural, political and socio-economic inequities;
- Listens to and builds relationship among volunteers, community stakeholders, and creative-entrepreneurs; and
- Co-creates solutions and opportunities to advance our city’s creative aspirations and potential, as measured by increased creative production, philanthropic support, earned revenue, and readiness for and paths to capital services and procurement.
For more information on 77CI, email email@example.com.