Expeditions grants support New England nonprofit organizations to plan and implement tours of high-quality arts projects involving New England, national, and international artists.
Expeditions Tour Planning grants provide resources for projects that need additional planning time to build interest among tour partners, leading to an application for Expeditions Touring support.
Touring grants provide funding for presenting high quality artists in tours that exhibit strong collaboration between artists, presenters, and nonprofit organizations to creatively engage communities in New England. Expeditions Touring projects must include at least three New England nonprofit partners in geographically separate communities from at least two states. Expeditions Touring grants provide up to 50% of artist fees (with a maximum grant of $10,000 per tour partner).
I’m fortunate to serve as a member of the Rhode Island College Inclusive Excellence Committee. Under the leadership of RIC’s President, Dr. Frank Sanchez, and its wonderful Associate Vice President for Community, Equity and Diversity, Anna Cano Morales, RIC has taken a leadership role in promoting greater diversity, equity, inclusion and accountability.
Since these are issues of concern to us here at the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, I’m using my membership on this committee as a learning experience that will inform the work we do on our own strategic plan.
The committee met yesterday on the RIC campus for our first working meeting. After an introduction by President Sanchez we were led through a facilitated discussion by Dr. David E. Jones, a respected scholar-practitioner and director of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Here are some of my take-aways from his presentation, and from the discussion that followed.
For the work to begin, be sure to establish a shared language, and then strive to “anchor” equity and diversity into the work of RISCA (how do we “bake it into” our work as an agency)
“Make folks feel comfortable with the uncomfortable” (thanks, Ray Watson, for that quote)
Reflection is very important to this process, and how we invite people in is critical
How can we ensure that this work is visible – internally and particularly externally?
For equity and diversity to thrive, ensure that there is an alignment of organizational culture with mission, vision and values
“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
We need the voices of privilege to speak up and speak out. A good example is the video “Cracking the Code: A Trip to the Grocery Store”, which shows that those representing the so-called privileged culture must speak out on behalf of equity and diversity for change to happen.
Name the inequities in policies and programs
Have a score card to hold you accountable
prepare an inclusion annual report
have an online presence to showcase inclusion efforts – particularly on social media
identify an “inclusion representative”
reflect and support goals for inclusion in all programs
celebrate inclusion accomplishments and annual present awards
“Inclusion is not a service, placement or program. It is a Mindset.”
I’m grateful to Rhode Island College for including me and other community members in this effort. It shows an institution that is thinking about the welfare of the entire community. I look forward to all I will learn through my participation.