Our Diversity Statement


At the Rockford Area Arts Council a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feel valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire arts industry of the nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, the Rockford Area Arts Council strives to:

    • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensuring the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.
    • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
    • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
    • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
    • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
    • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.
    • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

The Rockford Area Arts Council abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:

    • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
    • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. Once the content is curated it will be added to our website so others can access it.
    • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of American society.
    • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other arts organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
    • Develop and present sessions on diversity, inclusion, and equity to provide information and resources internally, and to members, the community, and the arts industry.
    • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process. Train our hiring team on equitable practices.
    • Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create and/or promote inequity, oppression, and disparity.

Additionally, the Arts Council’s Staff and Executive Committee is required to attend annual Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training; Our Board of Directors is strongly encouraged to attend the same workshop/training.