Diversity, Equity + Inclusion
The Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s mission is to celebrate and support the creative life of all people through art-making, exhibitions and community programs. It is extremely important to us that all people in our community have access to art-making through our programming and that they feel safe, included and valued in our spaces.
We are committed to addressing diversity and inclusion within our organization. One of the four primary goals of our 2019-2024 strategic plan is focused specifically on reducing barriers and expanding inclusive practices. We developed this plan in 2018 and started implementing it in 2019. We are using the following strategies to accomplish this goal:
- Identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies that increase the diversity of the center’s teachers and staff
- Train teachers, staff and studio volunteers on best practices for creating inclusive spaces
- Ensure that we’re communicating our message to diverse audiences
- Maintain the strength and quality of our existing community partnerships
- Establish new community partnerships that target audiences that currently lack access to adequate arts programming
- Adopt practices that welcome people who do not speak English as their primary language
- Address geographic and transportation challenges that keep people from reaching our building
- Ensure that people of all income levels can access our programs
- Offer or alter programs to meet the needs of people with a variety of schedules
Our educational philosophy is built on several beliefs and values which inform and shape all of our class offerings. One of those beliefs is that art-making is a unique and powerful way to build community. We provide a welcoming environment in which everyone has the opportunity to contribute their individual voices and talents. We also believe in having a commitment to accessibility within all of our educational programs. We seek to honor the many lived experiences of our community by creating programming and spaces that are responsive to diverse needs and interests.
VisArts is growing as an anti-racist organization. In addition to the strategies listed above, we are working to create an in-house working group devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion. This team of staff and board members will focus on the strategies, conversations and changes we need to implement in order to grow as an antiracist organization. This group will work to keep us on track to meet our strategic plan goals for expanding inclusive practices and ensure that we are continuing to evaluate new opportunities related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
We know we need to do more and we are ready to do the work necessary to bring change to our organization and to our community. We will do everything we can to emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization, with our employees and in our community. We invite you, our teachers, students, and friends, to join us.