Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Equity in the arts
The question of equity in the arts, what it means, how to make it matter, is a constant and evolving question. There was considerable work done on this issue in Canada in the early 1990s and for a few years after that, but since then the issue was put on a backburner, at least in terms of mainstream address. But now, it seems to be gaining currency in a number of quarters. Most recently, the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF) has commissioned a couple of consultations and reports to bring equity issues to the forefront. To that end, a small team assembled through the auspices of CICAC is doing some intensive research into the field. We have team members from Calgary, Vancouver, and Germany, working at a bank of resources to try to create a snapshot of what equity means today, and how that might inflect the policies and trends of tomorrow. The report will be delivered to CPAF at its meeting in Edmonton in mid-June, and we hope to make it available to the public soon after, at least in some version. There are plans afoot to release this as a CiCAC publication later in the summer, part of a new series of books that will address a range of topics, from policy to art to creative production. Current team members of the consultation report, Equity Within the Arts Ecology – Traditions and Trends include: Aruna Srivastava, Tracy Wong, Ayaka Yoshimizu, and Kit Heinzmann, co-ordinated through my desk as director of CiCAC. If folks want a copy of this report (or a version that we can release to the public), do let me know. It will be comprised of a fairly decent bibliography and an analysis of equity in Canadian arts as it stands today.