Equity and the Winnipeg Arts Council
The Winnipeg Arts Council recognizes the urgent need to work together towards eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms, to search for and correct any policies or practices that may have discriminatory effects on Indigenous artists, Black artists, artists of Colour, and/or diverse communities.
EQUITY has long been a value held by the Winnipeg Arts Council, as expressed in planning documents. In this context, “equity” has focused on the removal of barriers to assure fairness and racial justice. From the 2018-2022 Winnipeg Arts Council Strategic Plan:
- EQUITY Access, Inclusion, Diversity – all are encompassed beneath the banner of equity. We want to intentionally create space and opportunity for the diverse people of Winnipeg to be engaged in or have access to art. We want to ensure we are supporting diverse art forms, ideas and communities.
NOW: The statistical examination of grants distribution and board and staff representation is necessary, but alone is not sufficient to demonstrate equity. Each policy, program, operation, recruitment procedure, and board development initiative will be audited and adjusted in order to –
- Eliminate harmful practices that may inhibit access for Indigenous artists, Black artists, and artists of Colour to participate in grant programs, public art projects, or arts development initiatives
- Assure the representation of artists and arts professionals – Indigenous, Black, and Persons of Colour – on all juries and assessment panels
- Invite partners and clients of the Winnipeg Arts Council to address issues of access, inclusion, and diversity within their organizations and programs
Preparation for the Winnipeg Arts Council inventory of policies, programs, and operations begins immediately and be reviewed in consultation with a panel of artists representing diverse communities. The examination will explore where we are now and where we need to go and will include targets and timelines. This work is ongoing and currently in the consultation phase.