Indianapolis Art Center Community,
In the preceding months our communities and our nation have been called upon to enforce change, promote progress and hold ourselves accountable. Organizations have been asked to examine their pasts, current practices and strategies for the future. We, as a cultural organization, are a community of artists and creators, designers and teachers as well as patrons of the arts. Our unique position in our arts community requires us to act. The history of the arts is rife with challenges to systemic issues, expressive identities and the safety to be who you are without judgement. We have every intention of upholding that legacy.
As an organization we have heard the calls from our community members and students, we’ve spoken as staff and board about the need for lasting and effective changes and we are here to share that change is coming. Released with this statement are the bylaws and tenants of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, a collective group of staff and board members. The makeup of our committee includes individuals with personal and professional experiences in inclusion and equity work. We all share the common goal of making the Indianapolis Art Center an inclusive, accessible and equitable space for all of our current and future community members.
While we are aware that many have called for changes quickly and immediately, we must be clear in our intention. The purpose of this committee will be to address the three outlined focus areas; organizational structure and policies, educational and event programming, and community interaction and engagement. Furthermore, our role will be to review and appoint an external consultant(s), facilitate the consultant’s work with our staff and board, and finally to provide the guidelines and requirements for policy and programmatic changes. The purpose of this committee is not merely to implement reactionary and superficial changes, but to understand and address existing systemic inequities within our control to ensure that we can truly build an inclusive and anti-racist community through art. We collectively know and understand that we must dedicate ourselves to this process for years to come.
As we navigate this journey, we understand that we must expand on the work we do in Indianapolis and work with the many communities within it. As an organization, we acknowledge that we must project the voices of those who go unheard and we must give up space for others at the proverbial table. We are pleased to be able to announce our partnership with 18 local artists, most recently known for the creation of the Black Lives Matter mural on Indiana Avenue. Through this partnership the Art Center will host an initial exhibition, EIGHTEEN: Black Lives Matter, celebrating these artists and their mural. The exhibition will open for public view on October 23, 2020. A year later, we will again host these artists to look at how their lives and the City of Indianapolis have changed following calls for action and progress.
Continued actions we take going forward will display our commitment to all members of our community, whether they be BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, functionally diverse or those of any marginalized community. We ask that you, as our community members and patrons, trust in our collective knowledge, drive, and focus to instill lasting change. We ask for your support as we work to educate and re-educate ourselves. We are determined and devoted to making the Indianapolis Art Center an inclusive and welcoming space for every member of our community and to make this organization a model one for others.
Thank you for your patience and understanding,
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Member - Board of Directors
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Director of Education, Outreach + Exhibitions
Chair - Board of Directors
President and Executive Director
I. Indianapolis Art Center Mission:
The mission of the Indianapolis Art Center is to inspire creative expression in all people.
II. IAC DEI Committee Mission:
Review, Create, and Implement strategies to ensure that the Indianapolis Art Center is a WELCOMING place that will inspire creative expression in ALL PEOPLE.
Three Key Areas of Focus for the DEI Committee (formerly Task Force):
1) Organization (Internal...Policies/procedure/employment practices/culture)
- Review, create, and implement strategies to ensure that our employment and administrative policies are fair, equitable and welcoming to people of all diverse backgrounds and not biased (intentionally or unintentionally) against people on the basis of age, race, color, ethnicity, biological sex, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status.
- Enable an inclusive culture and create a space of psychological safety for all.
- Intentionally attract, hire, and retain diverse talent for the art center at all levels of the organization.
2) Programming (Internal...IAC programming such as course offerings, exhibitions, ArtReach)
- Review, create, and implement strategies to ensure that our programming is inclusive and accessible.
- Identify and understand any barriers to participation in on-site and virtual Indianapolis Art Center programming.
- Examine practices in Outreach (off-site) programming to ensure inclusion and equity continue to be driving tenants of our work.
- Seek to welcome and retain patrons, students, and staff from all backgrounds.
3) Community (External)
- Review, create, and implement strategies to ensure that the ART center is welcoming
in to all current and potential students, patrons, donors, etc.
- Work with external partners to serve communities throughout Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Art Center recognizes that there is room for improvement in how we engage with all and commit to ongoing actions to demonstrate our inclusiveness. We recognize that in this ongoing evaluation of our practices, and we are committing to long term strategies for improvement and that continual review will be necessary for success.
III. Review and Appointment of External Consultant
In addition to the three key areas of focus, the committee-at-large will review applications and proposals from external consultants and auditors to aide in the work of implementing our stated goals. The committee will further have the responsibility of facilitating the consultants work with all appropriate audiences.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee reports directly to the Board of Directors at-large, superseding standing committees. The recommendations and actions put forth by the committee will be executed operationally by the President and Executive Director of the Indianapolis Art Center, with accountability held by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.