Mass Cultural Council logo
Home / Blog / Universal Participation / Racial Equity Progress Report (Jan – Mar ’24)

Racial Equity Progress Report (Jan – Mar ’24)

Cathy Cheng-Anderson, Senior Director of Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer

A regular report on our anti-racism work

photo of 3 musicians performing on stage in front of a blue curtain backdrop. On the left a drummer in a baseball cap is seated in front of a mic. In the center the vocalist is wearing an orange dress over black legging. And on the right a smiling guitarist is wearing glasses and a wide brimmed hat.
Dan and Claudia Zanes performing at the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center.

In 2021, Mass Cultural Council launched a three-year Racial Equity Plan outlining some of the internal and external steps we will take to support and encourage an anti-racist cultural sector in the Commonwealth. As part of the plan, the Agency has committed to sharing our progress on this work each quarter:

Jan-Mar 2024 Racial Equity and Access Work Highlights

  • d/Deaf & Disability Equity Plan: Mass Cultural Council staff worked with Open Door Arts and Art-Reach to develop a series of recommendations contributing to a Disability Equity Plan. Following an in-depth analysis of the action steps derived from the guidance of our disability consultants, the draft plan was presented to the governing Council on March 21, 2024. More details about the Plan are coming soon. The Plan takes effect on July 1, at the start of FY25. Staff will continue to work with the Council and the community to ensure the Plan meets the needs of the community it is attempting to serve.
  • Native and Indigenous Taskforce and Equity Plan: Mass Cultural Council, since 2021, is aligning its programming with the Racial Equity Plan to better serve BIPOC artists, focusing particularly on Native American and Indigenous communities. The Agency developed a Native American and Indigenous Peoples’ Equity Plan to address the specific needs of Native people. The draft plan was presented to the governing Council on March 21, 2024. More details about the Plan are coming soon. The Plan takes effect on July 1, at the start of FY25. A new key initiative from the Plan is the establishment of a Tribal Cultural Council (TCC) Program, modeled after the Local Cultural Council Program, to distribute funds for arts and culture. This involved creating a Native taskforce to guide the TCC Program’s formation and ensure it meets the needs of Native American and Indigenous tribes.
  • The Agency’s Panelist Handbook has been revised and renamed as the Reviewer Handbook, reflecting our commitment to equity. This update includes anti-bias training for reviewers, making it a more thorough resource that corresponds with our continuous efforts in learning and development around equity.
  • We have conducted ADA 101 workshops for the Festivals & Projects and Local Cultural Council programs. These workshops were designed to educate participants about the National Endowment for the Arts requirements and explain how these requirements impact their projects and initiatives.
  • Access consultations have been provided to various organizations on how to develop a system that proactively considers and supports individuals with disabilities, including Adams Theater, Fine Arts Work Center, Museum of Russian Icons, and Malden Public Access TV.
  • Cultural Equity & Access Initiatives staff supported the Grants for Creative Individuals‘ information session with both ASL and Spanish interpretation. The session was attended by over 300 participants, with over 200 questions answered.
  • The Cultural Equity Learning Community (CELC) was accepting registrations for its Summer 2024 cohort through January. Mass Cultural Council will be providing up to 250 state cultural workers with full scholarships to CELC.
  • Through the Agency’s recruitment and advancement efforts, there are now 428 organizations in our grants management system that have self-identified as BIPOC-Centered Organizations. 63% of these organizations have received at least one grant from a Mass Cultural program or recovery effort.

Track on-going progress using our racial equity journey map.

Back to Top