Who We Are / Racial Equity

Racial Equity

Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization that helps Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive through direct support, connections, and advocacy. We believe a fair and just society ensures artists of all backgrounds and identities are included in its cultural narratives.

Artist Trust Racial Equity Statement

Artist Trust commits to addressing historical and structural barriers in access to artist funding, resources, and leadership opportunities for people of color (POC). By working towards racial equity within our organization, funding programs, and services, we are working against systems of racism, engaging in partnership with people of color, and truly fulfilling our mission to support ALL artists in Washington State.

Ongoing Commitments
To address systems of racism within the arts, we will continue to:
• Put into practice the values of forward-thought, openness, responsiveness, and transparency;
• Build cultural competency and fluency at all levels of the organization;
• Increase accessibility to our organization for under-recognized artists and communities through funding, hiring, partnership, and support services;
• Collaborate and share resources with other arts organizations committed to racial equity;
• Hold staff, board, and the organization as a whole accountable in our efforts towards racial equity;
• Build racial equity assessments of programs and operations into annual planning, budgeting, and review cycles;
• Participate in national conversations on racial equity among grantmaking organizations both formally (at conferences, summits, etc.) and informally;
• Experiment with programming models to increase accessibility;
• Leverage our visibility as a statewide funder of individual artists to advocate on behalf of artists, particularly around issues that disproportionately impact artists of color;
• Cultivate diversity in our staff, board, contractors, interns, and donor base in order to balance decision-making power among people of all backgrounds

In 2019, Artist Trust’s racial equity goals are to:

1. Be an Active Ally in Racial Equity
2. Engage in Dialogue about Racial Equity
3. Build Artist Trust’s Racial Equity Competency

To be an active ally in racial equity we will:
• Deepen relationships and invest in partner organizations run by and/or for POC, especially POC organizations outside of King County;
• Engage POC artists who are leaders and experts in the field through workshops, panels, events, and other programs;
• Explore the expansion of our WA State grantmaking policies to acknowledge native ancestral boundaries.

To engage in dialogue about racial equity we will:
• Participate in the national conversation on racial equity;
• Create learning relationships with other organizations working in racial equity, especially organizations outside of the arts sector, to further our racial equity learning and sharing;
• Amplify more POC artists, donor, and volunteer stories;
• Include racial equity studies, stories, and readings regularly in Artist Trust’s internal and external communications.

To build Artist Trust’s racial equity competency we will:
• Explore and adopt best practices for attracting and retaining POC talent in Artist Trust’s Board and staff team; create pipelines for POC leadership;
• Create space for learning and conversation with staff and board together;
• Research and report best practices for racial equity in fundraising to cultivate more donor support from the POC community:
- Cultivate and acknowledge all forms and every level of giving;
- Remove barriers for fundraising events and special opportunities;
- Learn best practices for donor demographic data collection to understand the racial make-up of our donor pool;
• Examine the effect of Artist Trust’s racial equity efforts to date and create better methodology and reporting metrics for year-over-year tracking toward racial equity efforts;
• Articulate long-range goals for Artist Trust’s racial equity work and create a long-term (3- 5 year) strategy for this work;
• Establish language that integrates racial equity and its essential place within Artist Trust into how we talk about who we are and what we do, and develop language to honor native lands at Artist Trust events.

Throughout all of our racial equity efforts in 2019, we will work to:
• Examine our own internal biases;
• Create common racial equity vocabulary;
• Acknowledge varying levels of knowledge/comfort about racial equity;
• Make time and space for deeper conversations about racial equity;
• Share our own personal stories;
• Learn how to navigate challenging conversations about race.

Since our commitment to racial equity is actively evolving, our racial equity framework is a living document. We continually review and evaluate our progress toward racial equity, and establish new goals annually as we learn and grow in our understanding. Read our racial equity FAQ to learn more about our work toward advancing racial equity and social justice.

We Want To Hear From You
If you have feedback or would like to discuss our racial equity work, please contact us at (206) 467-8734.