Imagine if...

Cultural equity is leading the way to a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community improving the social equity and cultural vitality of the region.

Arts break down cultural barriers and build community bonds through a better understanding of diverse cultures. Diversity and inclusion make the Greater Louisville region a welcoming place for residents and newcomers of all backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion increase equity of access, opportunity, and prosperity. Arts events and activities in neighborhoods and creative place-making initiatives such as public art and community art gardens increase community engagement and ownership, which is correlated to lower crime rates and safer neighborhoods.

Arts and culture must be welcoming, available, and accessible for all Greater Louisvillians, regardless of race, class, age, sex, sexual orientation, immigrant status, or geographic location. Arts and culture assets can play a key role in improving the social equity and cultural vitality of the region helping to solve the region’s most urgent social problems. Inclusion and community cohesion are important issues across the Greater Louisville area, and a number of underserved communities exist, particularly in the west end of Louisville, the city’s southwest quadrant, and in the outlying counties beyond Jefferson County.

The Steering Committee has developed and adopted the following statement of cultural equity to guide the activities of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 as the outlined strategies and actions are implemented.

Strategy 1

Make Louisville a Leader in strengthening African American Organizations

  • Action 1 – Institute an Annual Black Arts Festival leveraging the legacy of Muhammad Ali, promoting and supporting local black talent and attracting national audiences, led by the vision and voice of local black artist/s.
  • Action 2 – Develop West Louisville spaces for black artists to perform, collaborate, and grow their audiences and organizations.

Strategy 2

Develop/support Arts Incubator/s for Emerging Organizations and Artists of Color

  • Action 1 – Provide grants tied to growth and development
  • Action 2 – Pursue capacity building, consulting, subsidized shared back-office services
  • Action 3 – Offer low cost, subsidized office and rehearsal space
  • Action 4 – Stimulate collaboration and joint ventures
  • Action 5 – Coordinate with organizations that work with racial ethnic and immigrant artists

Strategy 3

Arts and culture organizations are committed to dismantling systemic racism and are committed to advancing policies and practices of Equity Diversity and Inclusivity, contributing to a more equitable community overall.

  • Action 1 – Utilizing the Racial Equity Toolkit, organizations are continuously evaluating and ensuring their work and programs are advancing racial equity.
  • Action 2 – Organizations have a board-approved cultural equity plan with metrics that are reported to their board, audiences, community, and funders each year.
  • Action 3 – Boards and staff are participating in regular, at least, annual DEI training to ensure alignment and advancement of their plan.
  • Action 4 – Funders such as Fund for the Arts and Louisville Metro will require training and progressive metrics for funding, and will encourage other funders to do so as well.
  • Action 5 – Boards and staff must reflect the diversity of the community in which the organizations serve.
  • Action 6 – Build a pipeline of diverse, qualified, and interested prospective board members and executives to support the quick diversification of arts and culture boards, leadership, and staff in the next 12 months.