Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The Kranzberg Arts Foundation stands in protest of racism and discrimination in all its many forms. We stand in solidarity with Black people all over the world and with all of the Black artists, staff members, and colleagues that make up and represent our St. Louis arts ecosystem. We acknowledge that recent events have set off another round of dialogue in our community on systematic racism, police brutality, and equity across the United States and in our city. We recognize that this is a long-standing issue that has existed long before this moment. From cultural appropriation to the exclusion of Black artists and people of color from opportunities and canonization, the arts have and continue to be a space that perpetuates systematic racism, and as an arts organization, we have an obligation to build a more diverse and equitable field.
The Kranzberg Arts Foundation has and continues to be committed to providing our city with essential infrastructure for the arts to thrive. We have invested heavily in building resources accessible and available to the entire St. Louis region. In our best intentions, we have often moved at a pace that did not ensure that we had included or engaged with voices from the surrounding neighborhoods and communities we serve. We have also missed opportunities to bring a more diverse roster of vendors and contractors to our developments and operations. We’ve learned through our work with the St. Louis ArtPlace Initiative the benefits of slowing down and working with the communities we seek to serve and bringing our values front and center. We remain committed to making our venues and workspaces equitable, diverse, and inclusive and understand we have a responsibility to use our resources and influence to help break the cycle of systematic racism and build a more equitable society. We know that we need to do more than just make a statement, and we have identified initial, concrete steps we can take to increase racial equity and inclusivity:
As part of our work to build essential infrastructure for the arts in St. Louis, we’re committed to incubating and incentivizing Black, minority, and women-led organizations through the availability of discounted and donated performance space, studio space, office space, and commercial storefronts. We will work to diversify our vendor and contractor rosters to ensure we have a balanced mix of Black, minority, and women-owned companies. We will dedicate a portion of our lease-holder improvement funds to be used to incentives and support Black, minority, and women-owned businesses within Foundation facilities.
Our work supports and intersects with that of countless other arts organizations including our partners and residents. While many of them are already doing the work, we are asking each and every organization to commit to articulating their plans to build equity and diversity into their work by the end of 2020. To continue to support these efforts we will be convening forums and cultivating resources to help our partners build their plans and to discuss collectively how we can ensure that our gifts are made accessible and ensure they reach diverse communities throughout our region.
Foundation staff and leadership will conduct annual training on anti-bias, anti-racism, inclusivity, and diversity. We will also require this training for all new hires and volunteers during their onboarding. We will maintain wellness programs for staff that make mental health a priority. And we will identify and partner with organizations to help build career paths to diversify our staff and create access to opportunities throughout the St. Louis Arts ecosystem.
We commit to creating metrics and reporting on the progress of our stated equity and inclusion goals and promises.