The 77 Communities Initiative
The Arts & Business Council of Chicago commits to championing policies and practices of racial equity that empower a just and creative Chicago. To contribute to real change, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago will raise questions of racial equity among our stakeholders and support change in our organization and in the arts and culture sector at large. The Arts & Business Council of Chicago encourages our partners to join us as we listen, learn, and grow.
Over the next two years Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) will expand and deepen our delivery of programs and services through our 77 COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE, which will ‘see’ and serve art-makers and arts organizations in traditionally under-resourced and under-invested Communities of Color.
Recent research, extracted from the Point The Way report by Learning in Action of a coalition of Chicago arts and culture funders and capacity builders, shows not for profit organizations in resource-depleted areas (often Communities of Color) experience a significant disadvantage in management capacity and infrastructure, often lacking even the capability of determining which issues to address first. Additionally, the Field Foundation of Illinois’s Heat Maps 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 16th). By laying over our own Arts Engagement Map, we see how many nonprofit arts and cultural organizations we serve in the study area. There is barely any cross over! So, in response we’ve avowed, “A&BC will reach all 77 communities by 2020.”
Things We’re Thinking About:
- Community Building in the Arts and Culture Sector: The Strategy Tripod in Action. Arts Consulting Group. 2019
- The Overlooked Anchors: Advancing a New Standard of Practice for Arts and Culture Organizations to Create Equitable Opportunities in America’s Cities. The Kresge Foundation. 2019.
- Taking Root: The Growth of America’s New Creative Economy. Re:Create Coalition. 2017.