IMPORTANT! Due to the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) events on this site may be postponed or canceled. Please CLICK HERE for the latest information about cancellations.

Letter to our arts community

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo seeks to serve artists and arts organizations in our community, including providing a platform from which their voices can be heard. Our core values speak to access, inspiration, dialogue, empathy, and sustainability. We work towards those values every day. We also fall short a great deal of the time.

As a community, we are once again at a crossroads. We have been here before. We have been asked to stand up for our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and colleagues, and too often we have failed. Right now, we are asked again to stand up, to embrace justice, to embrace equity, and to do what is right. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement, we cannot continue to move along, business as usual.

We believe that racism in any form is completely unacceptable. Institutional oppression and injustice are completely unacceptable. As a mostly white institution with a varied track-record in living up to our values, we must own our racism and our privilege to take real and lasting steps to remove barriers, change internal cultures and accept change. We will work daily to become a better organization, no matter how uncomfortable or painful it may be, to serve our community equitably. When we misstep, as we inevitably will, we will be open to acknowledge our shortcomings and commit to listening and learning with open minds and hearts.

Art can be a healing and transcendent experience. The Arts Council has decided to postpone our regularly scheduled virtual Art Hop, to focus on the issue at hand. In place of Art Hop, we invite you to post on our Facebook page and use your creativity to speak out, to engage our community in conversation, and to serve as a catalyst for healing. On Wednesday, June 17th, we also invite you to a town hall geared for artists and arts organizations to come together to talk about what is next – “Who are we in this moment? Where do we go from here?”

We know that one day of sharing and one town hall will not heal our organization or our community. Still, we hope that it will serve as an opening to a dialogue on how artists and arts organizations can come into community together and work towards ending racial inequality in the arts and in our society.

 

Due to COVID-19 we are closed to the public through June 12!

You may contact staff by email or phone M-Th from 9 am - 5 pm. We are making every effort to update events as we become aware of changes, however please check with individual event organizers for the latest information about cancellations.

Thank you for your generous support of our programs.

 

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