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Each of these ideas is a vision that is whole and complete, all by itself. Yet together, these ideas create something even greater — an entire portrait of the future that has not yet been. 

Explore the ideas shared by community members during our co-creation phase, and be inspired to imagine and contribute some of your own ideas for an anti-racist arts and culture sector in Chicago.

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    Reparations for a whole lotta folk

    Typically, BIPOC arts & culture organizations are based in community. So, for those communities to be neglected/disenfranchised, that affects the arts & culture organizations. There's more power and resources for us if we think about reparations not just for arts & culture (we aren't a…

    Arts to Co-Create, not just Amplify

    If our arts and culture sector had an accessible and resilient funding infrastructure, artists would know they’re not valuable simply to amplify a message that’s already been constructed. But that we want to co-construct with you to shape that message.

    Redistribute dance funding to support local artists

    According to the Sustain Arts report, 50% of grant funding received by dance organizations in Chicago went to 3 dance companies. These companies most likely do not primarily employ Chicago based dancers or show work from Chicago based dancemakers. If these funds were redistributed into…

    Prioritizing existing tenants and residents in neighborhoods.

    I imagine that neighborhoods will have the first chance to keep and claim parts of the neighborhood as they grow and evolve. Incoming companies or corporations from outside the neighborhood will commit to hiring a majority of local community workers and pledge to preserve, maintain, or…

    Community Advisor Network

    Today: “I want to get feedback from alumni, current students, and the community at large. But I can’t have three more groups to manage.” Vision: Rather than leaders making decisions or trying to convince their boards, leaders tap into a revolving network of community advisors…

    Participatory grantmaking

    Today: "Recently we've been seeing positive trends – giving long-overdue grants to BIPOC organizations with limited restrictions. Yet it's still an elitist decision-making process." Vision: Communities would be empowered to participate in decision-making at a much more localized level.

    Universal Basic Income

    Today: It’s a financial hardship to go to art school and those who choose that pay lay down a road of financial hardship for their futures. Setting them up for a difficult path. The Vision: Universal basic income would allow us to be humans, instead…

    mutual knowledge sharing

    Today: We separate important and valuable skills that artists and creatives could benefit from, like writing grants or engaging communities, into other disciplines like business and social work. We might have some options to learn across fields, but there is no focus on how to…

    Arts Census

    Similar to the Black Census (conducted by Black Futures Lab, see more here: https://blackcensus.org) the arts & culture sector could survey and quantify itself, rather than someone else surveying us. Image credit: Black Futures Lab.

    Cast the right person in the right role

    Get the right person in the right role. Not all marketing directors at Social Media, for example. Let the person fill out the role. Don’t let the role fill out the person! Choreographers do this when casting dancers in roles. And some of us allow…

    Marcus Robinson

    Neighborhood cultural centers supported by the Parks District are full-partners with DCASE and arts philantropy to standup a hub (backbone organization for collective impact) for cultivating a bottoms up approach to funding micro-local arts making, humanities, and human development writ large. This asset is valued…

    Move, get out the way

    In order to build a more resilient funding infrastructure in Chicago, public and private funding needs to increase, eliminating unnecessary barriers and skepticism, supporting all the ways that art happens– not just through arts and culture non profits—and empowering community decision making.

    Break the Pyramid

    Break from the current hierarchical pyramid power structure. We should be able to have a say in it at different levels, and within different teams so how can we share a leadership structure that is more circular.

    Fluidly Move Through Leadership

    A model of leadership we can mimic is the bond between and dancing and space. Everyone understands what this shared space is and that we all can contribute. Some folks come to the foreground and then a move away. It's fluid. This space is held…

    Decisions for our Collective Future

    We need to put aside our personal agendas. I hear too many people talking about me me me me me, and not them, not us. Not the artists we're training, not the work we're leaving behind. When I make decisions [for my org which trains…

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    Reparation through Amplification

    Predominately White Institutions (PWIs) contribute % of their sizable marketing and advertising budget to fund a digital BIPOC cultural hub. This digital hub is a calendar of BIPOC arts and cultural events, sortable by neighborhood, social identities, genre, etc. This hub will be independently supported…

    Alien Handshake

    In our Co-Creation session, I recall the idea of the need for a paradigm shift around cultural intelligence in our society. As a people, we need to be more deeply educated around cultural intelligence and its nuances in order to create sustainable and real change.…

    Investing in assets

    My opinion on access for artists in this realm is centered in access and equity. I want people to have an opportunity to find success and access to resources without being met with difficult circumstances that impede their artistic journey.

    Accountability Website

    Quoting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “There are things we can do, benchmarks we can insist on, to keep the freedom train moving ahead. Over the past few weeks I’ve heard excellent suggestions for reform in our systems of justice, policing, healthcare, education and economic security, all of…

    Sharing the stories behind the art/artist

    Today: There's often this myth of the artists genius — it's just one person who tapped into their creativity to put this work into the world — but we don't often hear the stories about how a complex and interconnected set of experiences led them…

    Trust Artists with Money

    Trust artists with philanthropy money and see what we can do with it! No need for babysitting or strict rules.

    Transparent and accessible navigation of systems of power and influence

    Today: Funding is so often tied to identity (both in terms of demographic information, but also in terms of artistic discipline, approach, or practice), and how well you can articulate your identities and your ideas on paper. A lot of the challenge for visibility and…

    Salary Equity

    We all know that Black women are paid less than everyone else, and they are given fewer resources. Many times I'm called upon and asked for favors as a creative person, and that never feels good. Creatives need to be paid for their work. And…

    A safer world

    I think that [in a world where every culture has the experience of other cultures], I feel like we would be safer. Every time you introduce art, other things happen, right? In every community and every culture. That world would lend itself to people who…