The Contemporary Arts Center is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA), and these must be reflected in our work, staff, board, volunteers, partners, and artists. Together, we will continue to build an inclusive culture that serves and fosters the diversity of our communities, is equitable in practice, and accessible for all.
Since 1939, the Contemporary Arts Center has taken pride in showing artwork by relevant contemporary artists. While we would love to say that these artists have always been diverse, they were not. In the last decade, deliberate choices have been made to diversify the artists we exhibit and the communities we serve. However, after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, like many institutions throughout the nation, we began to look internally at what we as an institution value and whether we actually live up to those values.
After many conversations, we knew we didn’t want to be an institution that merely paid lip service to social justice. As we had difficult conversations, it became clear that our staff had mixed reactions to the work. Many questioned if these initiatives were a passing phase. And rightfully so. Already we saw the evidence of performative gestures and little substance from individuals and institutions. While we knew the wave of reform drove us on this journey, we were dedicated to making sure that change and accountability happened at the CAC.
Our work over the past year and a half has allowed us reflection and the time to craft statements that are representative of the CAC’s values and beliefs. However, statements are not enough. Our IDEA plan is written to ensure accountability and active change. We knew that our plan should be comprised of goals that were agreed upon by the IDEA Committee, were achievable, and made progress. And, that we revisit our plan regularly to pivot and make adjustments while on our journey.
Revisit this page for updates on our IDEA journey.