Is there a comprehensive list provided of participating institutions?
While NCBAFL has cast a wide net in our outreach to NC based organizations, at this time we cannot provide a comprehensive list. However we encourage individuals and institutions to share and promote these conversations amongst each other. Collaborative efforts throughout the entire process of dismantling systemic inequalities will be highly valuable. In addressing specific regional concerns, and ways such local challenges influence the larger state-wide community, shared data will be beneficial for everyone. Consider that those closest to the challenges are also closest to the solutions.
Are the founding members of NCBAFL an arts collective creative unit?
While the seven founding members are all practicing artists with strong ties to the NC
community, our aims in coming together are centered around developing sustainable models of change within organizations. We are creating long term plans to support Black artists in North Carolina through exhibitions, though the specific forms such interventions will take remain in development.
Why has a 6 month time frame been designated for strategic planning?
During the initial 6 month period following July 4, 2020, our expectation is not that institutions will resolve all systemic inequities and fully restructure their organizations. We recognize that initial steps are only the beginning of long term processes. To dismantle a system based on white supremacy and inequity will require a plan with specific goals and actions outlined. Thus, we have called for institutions to use this 6 month period to develop a thoughtful plan for the future addressing each pillar of the petition.
Is there a template demonstrating what an adequate plan should include?
There is no template, no universal structure, or specific format expected for a strategic plan addressing the pillars of our petition. We recognize that institutions across the state are composed of varying configurations and will each require their own unique approach. The amount of effort and attentiveness given to addressing the outlined needs are measures of successful strategic plans.
Why has NCBAFL chosen to alert donors, contact board members, and publicly flag procedures of institutions who are unresponsive?
The history of predominantly white-led institutions benefiting from the disenfranchisement of the Black artist and community is well documented. The severe underrepresentation of Black curators, Black interns, Black artists in art collections, Black board members, and Black patrons in museums and galleries exemplify this legacy.
The statements and expectations we have made should not be taken personally by individuals because the work required to dismantle an unjust system is larger than any of us individually.
We are calling on institutions to do this work collectively. Taking an active approach looks like more than a public statement of standing in solidarity. Taking an active approach is not responding with a list of previous programming and changes in statistics your institution has documented over the past 10 years. This work involves bold and critical self-reflection within your organization. It means having an honest dialogue about inequity and engaging in serious planning for the future. Without proper planning or accountability, how will these necessary changes be ensured?
“...Western art history has been separating art from people and prioritizing its ability to see into the future for some time now. In most arts institutions, very few stakeholders actually feel like they belong. Changing that feeling would be incremental, messy, vulnerable, high-risk work, and it would impact things like our relationship to art history and the role of curatorial and artistic excellence. I think the rewards outweigh the risks. Protecting art from the values and participation of the people has played a significant role in creating the divided, partisan culture that we are suffering in today. We helped to make these Two Americas. If we can own that, we get to do something really politically ambitious, like work toward One America.”
-Deborah Fisher, As radical, as mother, as salad, as shelter: What should art institutions do now?
How can institutions start conversations about compensation with participating Black artists?
If your institution is interested in hiring a consultant to address diversity and equity within the organization, please visit our resources page to review a list of available BIPOC consultants in NC. When consulting with other local artists and cultural workers, we encourage you to ask individuals about their own rates and expectations for compensation.