Reviewing the State of Equitable Investment Policies and Practices in the Local Arts Field

Recorded On: 04/10/2019

image About this Webinar

Each year the United States’ 4,500 local arts agencies (LAAs) collectively invest an estimated $2.8 billion in their local arts and culture ecosystems. This includes an estimated $600 million in direct investment in artists and arts and culture organizations through grants, contracts, and loans. This makes LAAs, collectively, the largest distributor of publicly-derived funds to arts and culture and one of the largest and steadiest underwriters of artists and creative workers in the United States. It is therefore crucial that LAAs employ a strong lens of equity to consider the full scope of their investments. 

In February, Americans for the Arts released two reports—one a summary of working group findings and one a research report—revolving around how local arts agencies can center cultural equity in their investment strategies (grantmaking, people, space, staff, time). In this webinar, learn about both reports, including walking through the working group’s goals and recommendations for field action, discussing the findings from the Local Arts Agency Profile’s 2018 Equitable Investment Module, and talking about future work Americans for the Arts and others are investing in to begin turning research and discussion into action. If you would like to review the reports in advance, you can find both at the Americans for the Arts Cultural Equity research hub:

Participants will:

  • Hear an overview of results from the 2018 Local Arts Agency Profile: Equitable Investment Policies and Practices in the Local Arts Field module
  • Learn about local arts agency field trends for funding and resources
  • Learn about fair and equitable funding and resource distribution 

Clay Lord

Vice President of Local Arts Advancement, Americans for the Arts

Clayton Lord is the vice president of local arts advancement for Americans for the Arts, where he oversees advocacy, capacity development and cohort building for local arts administrators and advocates in 5,000 communities across the United States. Prior to joining Americans for the Arts, Lord served for five years as the director of communications and audience development for Theatre Bay Area. At Americans for the Arts, the local arts advancement department aims to empower, educate, and support local arts leaders, public artists and arts administrators, emerging, mid-career, and executive leaders throughout the arts sector, arts marketers, and artist-activists as they work to be constantly relevant and transformative in the lives of American citizens and communities.

Lord shepherds the New Community Visions Initiative, a multi-year effort to better understand and support the changing role of the arts and local arts agencies in American communities, and Americans for the Arts’ ongoing initiatives around cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion. He is the chief architect of the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and the Executive Leadership Forum at Sundance.

Lord is a prolific writer, thinker, and speaker about the public value of the arts, and has written for ArtsLink, ARTSblog, Theatre Bay Area magazine, Stage DirectionsInDanceThe VoiceArtsJournal, and others. He has edited and contributed to three books: Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of the ArtsArts & America: Arts, Culture and the Future of America’s Communities; and To Change the Face & Heart of America: Selected Writings on the Arts and Communities, 1949-1992 and is working on the forthcoming New Community Visions: A Blueprint for 21st Century Arts-Based Community Development, due out in 2017. He holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from Georgetown University, and lives with his husband and daughter in Maryland.                


Reviewing the State of Equitable Investment Policies and Practices in the Local Arts Field Webinar
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