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Equitable Visibility

Chicago’s artist workforce has been documented as disproportionately white (ChicagoMade), but this likely does not account for all of the people who may not list “artist” or “cultural worker” in their job description. In other words, many practicing ALAANA/BIPOC artists are not officially acknowledged, simply because they hold other jobs or commitments as well.

ALAANA/BIPOC artists often have limited access to opportunities, because the industry is based largely on networking through personal or academic circles. Their work may be relegated to “special exhibits,” and many frequently face discrimination from directors, curators, supervisors, audiences, and the media throughout their careers. 

Additionally, ALAANA/BIPOC artists often practice diverse art forms—from street murals to textiles—that aren’t always seen or valued as much as “fine art,” but provide untold value both in terms of cultural preservation and providing role models and mentors to emerging practitioners.

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

— Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President Emerita, Children’s Defense Fund

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