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 

Clayton W. Lord

Vice President of Strategic Impact

Americans for the Arts

Clayton Lord is Americans for the Arts’ Vice President of Strategic Impact. In that role, he and the Strategic Impact team collaborate closely with research, communications, and program staff to connect the dots between the various components of work done at Americans for the Arts and encourage the creation of solid, complex initiatives that progress the core mission and goals of the organization and drive systemic change. Prior to shifting into this role, Lord was the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement for the organization for seven years. Lord is a prolific writer, thinker, and speaker about the public value of the arts and 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. He led Americans for the Arts’ New Community Visions Initiative, a multi-year effort to better understand and support the changing role of the arts and LAAs in American communities, and now oversees initiatives focused on the social impact of the arts, the equitable treatment of creative workers, and the proliferation of pro-arts policy. This has included the Arts + Social Impact Explorer ( He is the chief architect of the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention. He holds a B.A. in English and Psychology from Georgetown University, and lives with his husband and daughter in Maryland.

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