Cleopatra Fitzgerald

6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

Unfortunately, there continues the ugly reality that persons still discriminate in funding -it is known as philanthropic racial bias, gender bias, cultural bias, ableism (disability bias), and any type of bias or discrimination based on not allowing for equal access just because of that specific bias, prejudice, stereotype, discrimination. The bias can be implicit, inherent, preconceived, or unconscious bias. The bias extends not only to philanthropy but also in offering donations, in grants, contracts, loans, investments, memberships, and in other things. As a consequence, it is noted that frequently colored persons, minority, disabled, cultural, etc organizations are underfunded.

Thus, when arts and cultural organizations are led by people of color and other ostracized groups, it becomes difficult for them to provide their locality and young people a chance to experience and participate in the arts, culture -whereas, the ones with access can do so on a daily or constantly. This establishes racial inequities and long lasting racial gaps.

For that reason, I believe it is needed cultural training, non-discrimination training, and for diverse organizations through incentives to stay connected to the less funded organizations and to recommend to them contact lists that can be of assistance. The acceptance is to gain honesty between organizations and a shared interest of cooperation, vision, and progress.

For instance, America’s Cultural Treasures Initiative called for millions in donation to colored organizations that have been marginalized and underfunded. Each will give much needed grants as contributions. Likewise,

the underfunded organizations can do marketing and contact similar interested organizations. There has to be an independent oversight that monitors any instance of bias or unfair treatment in the funding process or when grantees are receiving from grantors.

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs is one of the biggest funding agency -it gives cultural funding to non-profit cultural organizations via the cultural development fund to be approved for discretionary process. New York foundations provides $75 million funds to help arts nonprofits and cultural organizations and more impacted by COVID19.

I would gather organizations, networks, support associations who are interested in funding the marginalized arts and cultural organizations. Just as the nonprofit finance fund, leveraging a network for equity(lane), Mellon Fund National Performance Network/Visual Artists Networks are helping the marginalized organizations achieve equity.

There are bigger organizations that have been in similar situations and want to help the smaller and it really will bring racial justice, social justice, and good for the economy. There has to be fairer policies, regulations, and greater unity. The selling of art works (from cultural tribes, disabled) photographs, writings can help augment funding. Subscription to poetry books, writing, CD music clubs ,etc.

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NYC AiE Roundtable