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ANTIRACISM IN THE ARTS PLEDGE

June 2020

 

As we strategize daily on how to adapt the work of our mission in a COVID-19 world, we also share the urgency to combat the persistent plague of racism. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC) supports visual arts, performing arts, and arts education within the Colorado Springs community. Across our stages, galleries, classrooms, studios, and virtual platforms, our goal is to enrich lives, support artists, and foster understanding and appreciation of humanity’s many cultures.

We serve both the community and the campus; we are also a bridge between the city and the rest of the world. As one of the few multi-disciplinary arts institutions of its kind in our nation, we have tremendous opportunity for social impact.

As we tell the stories of various people and cultures across the globe, the FAC has made efforts to center and showcase the work of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian artists. However, we recognize there is room for far greater representation and inclusion across the breadth of our family and programming.

As we serve our mission to elevate the individual spirit and inspire community vitality, we can also enrich and center the experiences of marginalized peoples who are historically underrepresented, misrepresented, and excluded from our field.

This is not about quotas or tokenism.
We recognize the often-innocuous factors that contribute to the cultivation of spaces devoid of broad cultural representation. We commit to make greater strides to identify and contribute to the growth of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian talent in our community. We focus our efforts to connect and build meaningful, sustained relationships across the cultures represented in our region. The spirit of this endeavor ensures that we are truly an institution that is broadly reflective.

Through our most recent strategic planning process with Colorado College, three driving themes emerged—excellence, access, and collaboration. We used these themes as the pillars upon which to build our pledge toward a 21st-century Fine Arts Center.

“The time has come to reclaim the word ‘excellence’ from its historic, elitist undertones and to recognize that the very best art and culture is for everyone, that is has the power to change people’s lives, regardless of class, education or ethnicity.”1

Committed to Excellence

An excellent cultural center aspires to reflect a multitude of human experience by consistently highlighting a range of artistic crafts.

Therefore, we will dedicate resources to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian artists, curators, educators, and administrators across intersections of nationality, class, gender, sexuality, and faith traditions.

Committed to Access

The FAC is committed to examining and correcting biases and exclusionary practices that exist in our space and across our programming, ensuring all feel welcome and reflected in their experiences.

Extending our programming beyond the walls of the building
Building on past events like JAM FAC and our Día de los Muertos celebration, we will increase public programming and pursue strategic partnerships that introduce us to broader audiences in our community.

Sharing the space
The FAC will make greater strides in opening its spaces and making them available to various creative communities without permanent home.

Virtual access and online resources
The FAC will continue development of our digital content platform FAC Connect (launched during COVID) to maintain an additional point of connection for audiences beyond our physical spaces. We will also continue to digitize our museum collection, allowing faculty, scholars, teachers, cultural groups, and tribal organizations greater access for teaching and learning.

Committed to Collaboration

We will grow and expand on efforts to partner and share resources with organizations in our community doing the work of combatting racism and elevating marginalized communities. We will establish a Community Arts Council, comprised of artists, educators, and influencers across the city of Colorado Springs to foster strong relationships with those communities the FAC historically has under engaged.

Committed to Living our Values

We recognize that we as a staff must commit to continued and sustained individual learning to best live these institutional values. We will provide our teams with opportunities to engage in consistent training, facilitated workshops and resources to ensure our organizational culture aligns with this initiative.

This statement of commitment drives our developing action plan for sustainable representation, support, and opportunity for marginalized artists, educators, and arts lovers, to the benefit of us all.

1 James Purnell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (UK)

Speaking Out Against Racism

Like the rest of the world, we are devastated by the tragic series of unjust murders of Black people across America and are actively taking stock of what we can do beyond our sincere expression of empathy and solidarity.

We share in Colorado College’s commitment to the work of cultivating an antiracist community (link below). As a cultural institution that serves both the campus and the broader public, we recognize our role in cultivating a more humane, compassionate, and informed society.

Speaking Out Against Racism