Disrupting Bias in Content Creation for Arts Programs


Donna Walker-Kuhne,  Walker International Communication Group

About this Session

As we work towards greater racial justice, the arts field is increasingly evaluating programs and artworks for bias, whether conscious or unconscious.  An artist’s work is greatly influenced by how they understand or perceive people who are different from them.  In order to make arts programs equitable, we need to examine and uproot prejudices, discrimination, and racism that exists.   How do we make these necessary changes and protect the authenticity of the artist, the art, the narrative, and the work regardless of ethnic or racial origin?

Learning Objectives
  • What is bias in content creation and how do we disrupt this?
  • How do we protect the authenticity of content creation?
  • How to advance this process as we develop new work in a post pandemic world?

This session is a part of the 2020 National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

Donna Walker Kuhne

President, Walker International Communications Group


Donna Walker-Kuhne is President of Walker International Communications Group, a 30 year old boutique marketing, audience development, diversity training and social justice consulting agency. She provides consulting services to numerous arts organizations throughout the world and has generated over $23million in earned income. She is also Senior Advisor, Community Engagement, New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  She is a veteran of over 22 Broadway productions and her nonprofit clients include  Lincoln Center, Seattle Theater Group,  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The Apollo Theater. She is co-founder of Impact Broadway a multicultural project that engages over 300 students as audience members for Broadway with the goal to empower this community to be economic drivers of new audiences for the Broadway Theater district.  She is a lecturer and key note presenter for arts conferences in Moscow, Russia, Blomfontein, South Africa, University of Berlin, AMA Conference in Edinburgh and Australian Arts Conferences.  She is an adjunct Professor at New York University, Columbia University and Bank Street College.


She serves on several boards including Signature Theater, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Vice President of the Board for Newark Arts Council, HARLEM WEEK and The Harlem Arts Alliance.  She is a member of The League of Professional Women in Theater and the National Theater Conference.  Recipient of over 50 awards including the 2019 League of Professional Theatre Women Rachel Crothers Leadership Award and the 2019 SPAA Award for Community Service from Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration/Newark. Her first book, Invitation to the Party:  Building Bridges to Arts, Culture and Community, was published in 2005 and she just completed her second book, Champions for the Arts: Lessons and Successful Strategies for Engaging Diverse Audiences.  She has a weekly blog, Arts and Culture Connections that explores cultural efforts to expand diverse audiences.


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Disrupting Bias in Content Creation for Arts Programs