Photo by Louis Rideout

ArtWorks lifts justice by embracing equity, diversity, inclusion, and access regardless of skin tone, ethnicity, faith, apparent and nonapparent disabilities, age or identity.

Read our 2023-25 DEIAB Plan

ArtWorks progress toward equity, diversity, inclusion, and access

ArtWorks supports Black, indigenousness, people of color, LBGT, immigrants, and all people who face racism and discrimination. We strive to address our internal biases, behaviors, and actions that do not support all with fairness, respect, and dignity.

We will look to our diverse community partners, artists, and youth to direct us in art and projects that represent their wants. Our employment commitment will continue to improve upon our past efforts of a diverse workforce with living wages. True allyship takes constant lifelong learning and activism.

ArtWorks will continue to keep the community apprised of our actions, progress, and learnings.


ArtWorks lifts justice by embracing equity, diversity, inclusion, access, and belonging regardless of skin tone, ethnicity, faith, apparent and nonapparent disabilities, age or identity. We believe that the journey towards justice takes consistent activism and lifelong learnings and we strive to be an organization that welcomes all with a feeling of belonging and empowerment. Download ArtWorks DEIAB Organizational Plan for 2023-2025 here to learn more about our journey, learnings and goals.


  • People-centered: Create a more inclusive and equitable workplace
  • Reaching new audiences: Foster inclusive language and experiences across all internal and external platforms
  • Belonging: Celebrate more cultures through the intentional design of programming to reflect our diverse community
  • We recognize that there is room for us to grow in understanding diversity’s evolving facets. By sharing our progress, we aim to hold ourselves accountable in our DEIAB journey.


  • ArtWorks participated in Ellequate, an award-winning employer certification and cohort-based leadership program for intersectional workplace equity, and was awarded a silver-level award that signifies the organization has achieved significant progress in creating more inclusive and equitable workplaces.
  • Reassessed staff cultural awareness with significant progress moving from a mindset that highlights cultural commonality and universal values and principles to a mindset that recognizes and appreciates patterns of cultural difference and commonality in one’s own and other cultures.
  • 100% of staff continued to participate in external training and/or events that support cultural awareness
  • Met board goal of diverse composition at 33% BIPOC and 50% female
  • Year-round administrative staff diversity increased from 20% to 38% BIPOC
  • Mental Health Training provided to staff, teaching artists and young artists
  • Seasonal employment demographics supported BIPOC employment of 55% young artists aged 14-24, 45% lead teaching artists, 38% creative artists, and 100% artists in residence for the youth gallery program
  • Created an individual and family leave policy to promote flexible support to help employees thrive professionally without sacrificing important and essential obligations. The policy includes paid maternity and paternity leave for up to 12 weeks, medical leave for up to 12 weeks and family care leave for up to six weeks
  • Held staff equity listening sessions identifying these growth areas to tackle over the next two years:
    • Standardized recruiting and interviewing processes to eliminate unconscious bias,
    • Articulation of flexible work options that are perceived as equitable for all roles,
    • Development of a transparent, standardized, and objective promotion policy,
    • Set leadership diversity targets.
    • Enhanced internal and external communications with inclusive and accessible language that welcomes all


  • The board approved ArtWorks first Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility plan
  • Recognize Juneteenth and Indigenous People as holidays
  • Recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a day on, staff-wide service day
  • Staff assessed and coached on individual cultural profiles supported by individual plans and accountability buddy groups
  • 100% of year-round staff participated in EDIA training to support their individual plans
  • Board composition continues to diversify: BIPOC increases by 39% (total representation 25%) and females by 16% (total representation of 52%)
  • Year-round staff diversity increases from 6% to 20% BIPOC and from 15% to 20% male
  • Mental Health First Aid Training provided to teaching artists who support youth employment
  • New recruiting and hiring practices established to attract diverse talent
  • New hires onboarded with EDIA training, assessed and coached on individual cultural profiles by an outside DEI consultant
  • Seasonal Employment demographics: youth are 60% BIPOC, lead teaching artists are 48% BIPOC and creative designers are 57% BIPOC
  • Vendors: 14.4% minority-owned, 26% women-owned, and 6.2% women and minority-owned
  • Community BIPOC partnerships represent 38% of partnerships
  • Learnings:
      • We have a small year-round staff and when employee transitions occur they can affect goals. Be realistic that a goal timeframe may need to shift and adjust.
      • Setting goals with periodic updates keeps you focused on achieving the outcomes


  • Staff and Board discussion to lay the groundwork for organization-wide Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility plan
  • 100% of staff completed Ground Water Training led by the Racial Equity Institute
  • Assessment of organization-wide intercultural development completed by consultant Priya Dhingra Klocek
  • 50% of youth employed BIPOC, 40% of teaching artists BIPOC, and 42% of creative designers BIPOC
  • Board composition shifted with a renewed focus on diversity with a 28% increase in female leadership and 50% increase in BIPOC leadership.
  • 38% of public art projects created with and for BIPOC communities
  • Launched Artist Conversation Series, Viva Voce to give voice to BIPOC artists and social justice
  • Launched Jump Start investing in minority and BIPOC artist-led community art projects in their own communities.
  • ArtWorks publishes commitment as an anti-racist organization

Years prior to 2020

  • Non Discrimination policy approved by the board
  • The diversity of seasonal staff is embraced with an emphasis on BIPOC.

Reach Out

Please reach out to our staff for more information. Contact us at 513.333.0388 or at