EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION & BELONGING
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion + Belonging Policy
As an arts organization whose vision is that art is for everyone, we at the Lawrence Arts Center are committed to cultivating a safe, inclusive and welcoming community for anyone who steps through our doors and to take action when this ideal is not upheld. Any instance of discrimination, racism, misogyny or aggression will not be tolerated, will be addressed immediately and may have consequences of being removed from our community. This aims to create the healthy boundaries we need to protect decency, be open to dialog in teachable moments, be actively antiracist and be decisive with egregious behavior. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with CEO Margaret Weisbrod Morris.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Statement
When we say art is for everyone, we mean everyone.
Diversity drives creativity. We know that fostering an inclusive culture that encourages, supports and celebrates diverse voices in the arts makes the world richer and more joyful. We strive to create a place that reflects the community we serve, where everyone feels their whole, authentic selves belong.
EDIB is more than a box to check at the Lawrence Arts Center. Our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging across race, gender, age, religion, socio-economic status, identity, ability and experience is an ongoing, holistic process that drives us forward daily. We carry EDIB values across every aspect of our work because we believe the arts are a powerful platform for social change. That is why we are specific about what we are doing to move EDIB principles forward at the Lawrence Arts Center and in the arts.
Equity: The leveling of an uneven playing field
Diversity: The demographic makeup of our company and the end goal of all EDIB efforts
Inclusion: A welcoming environment
Belonging: A feeling of comfort in an inclusive place
- We are providing training for staff and board on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the principles of cultural proficiency and allyship.
- We actively seek to give artists from historically excluded groups a platform for their work.
- We have redefined whom we identify as an artist to widen this identity beyond the traditional, historical and academic definitions.
- As openings and opportunities arise, we are assessing the make-up of our employees and board to actively recruit people who will diversify our staff and leadership.
- We are shifting our organizational mindset from “people don’t know about us” to “we don’t know enough people.”
- We are measuring awareness and perceptions of our organizational diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through an equity assessment to understand where we are challenged and to inform the steps we take to address these challenges.
- We regularly review our publications, products, processes and policies to reflect our EDIB ideal.
- We are evaluating ourselves and our spaces through the lens of “belonging” to create opportunities that promote a sense of welcome and belonging in our culture and our environment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with CEO Margaret Weisbrod Morris.
The Lawrence Arts Center is committed to making exhibitions, performances and arts education accessible for all, regardless of income level. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the front desk for assistance.
- We are committed to our community partnerships with social service partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Lawrence, Big Brother Big Sisters, Douglas County CASA, Douglas County Youth Services, Willow Domestic Violence Shelter, Cottonwood, Inc., VanGo, Inc., and Centro Hispano.
- We provide access to Arts Center theatre, dance, and visual arts programs to anyone who wishes to participate regardless of income level or ability to pay through our Financial Aid Fund, and we offer many free events and opportunities throughout the year.