Help us Plan Strategically Toward Arts Access

Cotton Field Blues by Jasmyne B, Williamston High School

Join us in becoming allies at the local level.

Our organization is taking steps to share our beliefs and to enact them. We believe: that arts access benefits individuals and our community; that diversity, inclusion, and equity create greater arts access; and that systemic racism harms individuals and our community. We actively oppose the systemic racism that underlies inequity. Our new webpage shares more details here. In that vein, our team recently attended the local celebration of the National Day of Racial Healing as a step toward building deep meaningful relationships and laying the groundwork to transform broken systems. Here are some ways you can help.

Helping plan strategically toward arts access.

You know that arts access is at the heart of our work, in part because the arts offer opportunities for self-expression, learning, and community engagement. They can support wellness and healing, and offer a voice to the voiceless. As we plan strategically and advocate for access to the arts, I hope you’ll join our upcoming initiatives and spend a moment with me considering our beliefs, values, and mission for Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center. At the end of this blog, please share your thoughts through our online survey. We want to hear your voice!

Building arts access and engagement through inclusion, diversity, and equity.

Join us in our commitment to offering free accessibility for programs and services to people with various abilities, socioeconomic levels, and arts experience. Share our virtual access to the arts through our website, social media, and online interactive tours. The Erin Warmels Scholarship Fund supports education scholarships, supplies, and awards. Help us spread the word about increased funds through The Elizabeth Charles Emerging Artist Scholarship Award! We’re offering up to $2,000 for young artists pursuing themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of our Art Scholarship Alert annual high school exhibition.

Reaching a broader community.

You can be an arts ambassador by sharing opportunities for scholarships, free-to-low cost options for arts experiences, and affordable art purchases. You’ve helped us increase access online by 25%, create art challenges, virtual classes, build an online sales gallery, expose over 80,000 unique visits to our summer 2020 public art program, and include anti-racist artwork in the ARTpath exhibition. Thank you for supporting community collaborations toward mission alignment, accessibility, and goals of diversity, inclusion, and equity and are currently featuring programs with Peckham and the Mid-Michigan Autism Alliance.

Changing our work internally.

We’re actively increasing diversity in terms of representation of skill sets, community connections, and perspectives, including participation from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, and representation of BIPOC. For example, in recognition of Juneteenth, in 2020 Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center matched donations of team members to anti-racist organizations, began an anti-racist and diverse educational resources for lending library, and offered a day of volunteering with encouragement to do so with consideration of support for anti-racist organizations.

Engaging as part of a statewide and national community.

As a statewide organization, we’re proud to share with myriad partners with a focus on access to the arts. I’m pleased to represent Michigan nationally at the Arts Education Partnership through the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment project. My recent blog about our Shared Values and Shared Resources details some of our counterparts in arts education and their work, as well.

Sharing your thoughts.

We seek your feedback in learning how we can become more truly accessible, diverse, inclusive and equitable. While our free and accessible location provides high-quality arts experiences and educational opportunities that highlight Michigan artists, we are striving to do better: researching best practices for these initiatives by reading, attending seminars, and actively listening. We welcome your thoughts as we learn and grow. We are your community organization, and your perspective matters.

Please complete our survey HERE.

Barb Whitney

Executive Director

Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center provides public awareness, education, and enjoyment of the visual arts by promoting the works of Michigan artists.

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