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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We envision a community where all artists are valued, all communities have access to the arts, and everyone has resources to create their own vision.

As advocates and mentors, our work focuses on developing practices that benefit all artists to encourage and support their artistic expression.

We strive to create programming that embodies an unbiased vision and includes all underrepresented artists.

Overview

Arts Mid-Hudson (AMH), the arts council for this region, embraces the constantly changing nature of art and culture and continues to respond to the community’s vision. Since 1964, we adapted to reflect societal changes and there is still more work to be done. The following encompasses AMH’s area of work and policies towards a more inclusive, just, and equitable organization.

Systems of oppression such as racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, xenophobia, and ableism have been detrimental to generations of people and have caused irreparable damage. The effects of these destructive systems reverberate today. AMH understands that marginalized artists and arts organizations encounter equity imbalances including but not limited to differential access to funds, volunteers, workforce, and resources. AMH seeks to disrupt these systems through policies, advocacy, access, and programming.

AMH recognizes that our staff and board represent a small portion of the diversity that exists within our region. AMH seeks and welcomes new voices at all levels and promotes continued learning throughout the organization. Our commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion is a constant endeavor and this document will be reviewed and updated quarterly.

Note: In this document the term underrepresented includes Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, People of Color, LGBTQ+, disabled, elder, youth, rural, and low-income populations.

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Leadership & Staff

  • Arts Mid-Hudson (AMH) strives to reflect all people that we serve in the Mid-Hudson Valley region through our leadership and staff. This region encompasses Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, People of Color, LGBTQ+, disabled, elder, youth, rural, and low-income populations and we endeavor to represent all identities and their intersections in leadership positions.
  • We understand that diverse leadership development requires a strong investment of time and resources. AMH is committed to this ongoing work.
  • We have a zero tolerance policy for racist, culturally insensitive, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, xenophobic, and/or ableist behavior of Arts Mid-Hudson’s staff, board and volunteers. These policies and reporting procedures are clearly stated in AMH Personnel Policies & Procedures and Board & Volunteer Handbook. We ensure all reports will be kept confidential without fear of repercussion.
  • Ongoing training opportunities (i.e. anti-racist, DEI, cultural compentency, LGBTQ+) are offered to staff and board. Materials made available to AMH during these training sessions are shared internally.

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Cultural Development & Art Services

  • AMH seeks to disrupt the current arts and cultural landscape by advocating and supporting underrepresented artists and arts workers, whose points of view are rarely explored in our region.
  • Organizations led by Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, People of Color, disabled, LGBTQ+ are the best representatives of their communities.
    • AMH prioritizes partnering and supporting arts and cultural programming led or organized by the groups listed above.
    • AMH prioritizes and advocates for hiring and paying artists who are a part of underrepresented groups.
    • AMH builds collaboration among diverse groups.
  • AMH supports an expansive representation of leadership in all aspects of the arts and cultural field.
  • AMH continues to develop new systems and assess existing frameworks that bring us closer to equity. We understand that this work is done in partnership with stakeholders and freely share our findings and strategies. AMH is guided by several advisory committees focused on our distinct areas of work.
  • AMH strives to represent individuals in the groups listed above as both exhibiting artists and curators in the AMH gallery programs.
  • AMH provides on-going and current information regarding advancement opportunities for underrepresented artists.

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Resource Development & Grant Making

  • AMH assists with emerging arts organizations, individual artists, and grass-roots groups to provide arts and cultural events.
    • Support underrepresented and marginalized artists in our region.
    • Support for arts & cultural programming of organizations/ grass-roots groups led by underrepresented individuals.
  • AMH promotes our funding opportunities to diverse communities in our region through personal outreach and cross-channel marketing.
  • AMH requires all nonprofit organizations submitting proposals to our grants and funding programs to have a board approved nondiscrimination policy in place and provide a statement regarding their commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.
  • Funding priorities for the AMH Grants and Funding opportunities are revised annually to reflect community feedback and needs.
  • AMH offers free assistance to all applicants for our grants and funding programs. Accessibility accommodations are available upon request.
  • All funding recommendations are determined by peer panel review. Panels are composed of individuals who reflect our diverse region. AMH staff or board members do not have a vote in this process.
  • AMH has evaluation systems in place to evolve the program and increase accessibility.

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Advocacy and Public Awareness

  • AMH recognizes there are existing policies which reinforce inequity, oppression, lack of access and disparity in our region and we are committed to challenging these harmful systems.
    • AMH advocates to government and private funding organizations for increased support for underrepresented artists and groups.
    • AMH gathers information and encourages feedback to communicate the needs and assets of the Mid-Hudson Valley region to funding entities.
    • AMH convenes the arts and cultural community through networking opportunities, events, and communications.
  • AMH promotes regional arts and cultural organizations, artists, and events on social media, email, radio, and press.
  • AMH builds awareness of the value of arts and culture and increases the visibility of working artists, especially those who are marginalized and underrepresented.

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Arts Education Program

  • The purpose of the AMH Arts Education Program is to unlock and enhance the learning and creative potential in each person. Ultimately, this benefits the individual and the community at large.
  • AMH advocates and legislates for integrated arts education programs for all educational institutions in the Mid-Hudson region with the goal of ensuring every student has access to quality arts education regardless of their location.
  • AMH builds relationships, collaborations, and partnerships with artists, schools, and art and cultural organizations to foster an inclusive environment for the diverse population we serve.
  • AMH seeks teaching artists who represent a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.
  • AMH oversees and assists to develop arts-based workshops, classes, and presentations both virtually and in-person.
  • AMH Arts Education Programs enrich and supplement, but are not intended to replace on-going external programs.

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Folk Arts Program

  • The AMH Folk Arts Program encourages the enduring traditional practices of the cultural communities of the Mid-Hudson region and sharing those practices with one another.
  • Cultural communities are the best interpreters of their cultural expressions. AMH provides networking, fieldwork, research assistance, and resource development to aid communities in this endeavor.
  • AMH assists communities in presenting their traditional practices to the public through programming, such as workshops and festivals.
  • AMH recognizes and respects that cultural expression can have multiple meanings across cultures, geography and time, which may present opposing interpretations. AMH strives to facilitate challenging discussions and greater cultural understanding between different viewpoints.

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Updated March 2021

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